Manual Mad muses and the early surrealists

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It seems a bit odd that I would laugh about something so serious, so seemingly dire. But then, sitting here, I started to wonder why I was laughing. I mean, really belly laughing. Another reason is that these days it often does feel like we are living through the end of the world. You laugh to stay sane. So goes the old adage. Some of my own worst doldrums have been deep-down depressions, lasting months on end. These depressions have been cyclical, coming and going more regularly over past years, hitting me hard sometimes.

Mad about Surrealism: Collector Roland Penrose

The play itself was written in by Samuel Beckett, a Nobel Laureate. Part of the amusement could be Michael Gambon, the English actor who plays Hamm, the lead character.

He knows it. What else is left but to laugh at him, and at yourself, to have a strange sympathy for the devil. The setting is bleak, dark walls of a dark mind on dark days.

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Bare interior. Grey light. Two small windows, curtains drawn. It might be an attic room somewhere, an attic room nowhere. The wind whistles its haunting draught. Four characters. Have you had enough? Of what? Of this…this…thing? Daily on the news: I try to avoid looking, close my ears.


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Yet I hear it everywhere. People talking. On screens. In the air. This thing that depresses.


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Environmental meltdown? Modern life? I always had. It seems to have worsened over recent years. Could he be talking about our outside? Almost all the pieces have been lost or sacrificed.

Mad Muses and the Early Surrealists by Justin Vicari, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Little is left on the checkerboard save a few pawns and kings, a king playing off against another king, square by square. The game is up yet the match goes on. And yet I hesitate to…to end. Beckett always lost. It may have been there where he first conceived his play. I went hoping it might cheer me up, perhaps inspire me to write something.

ISBN 13: 9780786466566

It was one of those dreary London days, suitably Beckettian. Grey upon grey. Light black, from pole to pole. The wind whipped up between buildings. I felt cold and forlorn. An encounter with what? An encounter with art and literature, with beauty and intimacy, with love. Perhaps it was an encounter with hope, with a solution, an encounter with myself. These modern couples were straight and gay—sometimes straight and gay at the same time—men and women whose love affairs infused their art, just as their art infused their love affairs.

They mobilised something sacred, something time-served, still vital: imagination , the power to imagine themselves, to break out of convention, out of servility. The list is by no means exhaustive. New Releases. Description The early surrealists attempted to create art directly from the unconscious, but the resulting art often reveals the stamp of its age. It is generally accepted that a certain macho sensibility prevailed within the movement, excluding queer sensibilities and reducing women to object status.

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In startling new readings of Breton, Bataille, Cocteau, Artaud, Crevel and others, Justin Vicari examines the intersections between surrealism and mental illness, deploying an interdisciplinary approach, which includes aesthetic theory, radical politics, and psychoanalysis. Of particular interest is the representation of the ideal woman as not only sexually available but mentally ill, a hysteric muse representing a kind of ""authenticity"" lost in modern life. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter.

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