Wallace Fowlie Age of Surrealism

ISBN 13: 9781258799090

Age of Surrealism

 
9781258799090: Age of Surrealism
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If, then, in a contemporary sense, surrealism takes its place mightily and pervasively beside communism and neo-thomism, in an historical sense the word seems more and more to justify a place beside the two words classicism and romanticism which for so long have been the cause of controversy and definition in Western art. AS in the case of surrealism, there is a limited meaning of these terms ap plicable to an historical movement of twenty years, when manifestoes were published and aesthetic programs enun ciated: classicism, in France, between 1660 and 1680; and romanticism, between 1820 and 1840. But it is futile to limit these three terms to any specific period of twenty years. An organized school of. Art, like an academy or a university, tends to disintegrate into pedantry and sterile rules. The great exponent of these modes of art usually stands outside the officially titular school, as Lautreamont does for surrealism. In fact, the greatest artists have been claimed by both the romantics and the classicists, and now, since the advent of surrealism, are claimed by the surreal ists. Shakespeare, for example, might be named a classical writer because he wrote his tragedies in five acts, but an excellent case might be made out for the romanticism of his temperament, and I am confident that one day an im portant and much needed work will be written on Hamlet as surrealist hero. (when Hamlet's irrationality in the sur realist sense is finally acknowledged, much of the useless and tiresome theorizing about his motivations and prob l'ems will be discarded.)

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About the Author:

Wallace Fowlie is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus at Duke University. He is an eminent scholar-teacher whose books include highly regarded studies of Mallarme, Rimbaud, and Proust.

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