Surrealism, Occultism and Politics : In Search of the Marvellous book cover
1st Edition

Surrealism, Occultism and Politics
In Search of the Marvellous

ISBN 9781138054332
Published October 11, 2017 by Routledge
304 Pages 16 Color & 21 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume examines the relationship between occultism and Surrealism, specifically exploring the reception and appropriation of occult thought, motifs, tropes and techniques by Surrealist artists and writers in Europe and the Americas, from the 1920s through the 1960s. Its central focus is the specific use of occultism as a site of political and social resistance, ideological contestation, subversion and revolution. Additional focus is placed on the ways occultism was implicated in Surrealist discourses on identity, gender, sexuality, utopianism and radicalism.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
List of Plates
List of Illustrations

Introduction: In Search of the Marvellous
Tessel M. Bauduin, Victoria Ferentinou and Daniel Zamani

Part I: Alternative Modes of Knowledge

1 Spiritual Surrealists: Séances, Automatism, and the Creative Unconscious
Claudie Massicotte

2 The Vertiginous Pursuit of the Grand Jeu: Experimental Metaphysics, Paramnesia, and Creative Involution
Donna Roberts

3 Palmistry as Portraiture: Dr. Charlotte Wolff and the Surrealists
M. E. Warlick

4 Occulted Un-Knowing: Bataillean Approaches to the Sacred in Gellu Naum’s Ceasornicãria Taus and Alejo Carpentier’s El Siglo de las Luces
Vivienne Brough-Evans

Part II: Myth, Magic and the Search for Re-Enchantment

5 Melusina Triumphant: Matriarchy and the Politics of Anti-Fascist Mythmaking in André Breton’s Arcane 17
 Daniel Zamani

6 Esotericism and Surrealist Cinema: Wilhelm Freddie’s Films and the New Myth
 Kristoffer Noheden

7 Disenchanted Ground, or Antonin Artaud, Vincent van Gogh and Magic in 1947
 Gavin Parkinson

8 Kurt Seligmann, Surrealism and the Occult
 Gražina Subelytė

Part III: Female Artists, Gender and the Occult

9 The Quest for the Goddess: Matriarchy, Surrealism and Gender Politics in the Work of Ithell Colquhoun and Leonora Carrington
 Victoria Ferentinou

10 On the True Exercise of Witchcraft in the Work of Remedios Varo
 María José González Madrid

11 Clear Dreaming: Maya Deren, Surrealism and Magic
 Judith Noble

12 Harbingers of the New Age: Surrealism, Women and the Occult in the United States
 Susan Aberth


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Tessel M. Bauduin is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Amsterdam.

Victoria Ferentinou is assistant professor at the University of Ioannina.

Daniel Zamani is a PhD student at Trinity College, University of Cambridge and an assistant curator at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.