DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect
Publication Year: 2013
This book deals with the early intellectual reception of the cinema and the manner in which art theorists, philosophers, cultural theorists, and especially artists of the first decades of the twentieth century responded to its advent. While the idea persists that early writers on film were troubled by the cinema’s lowly form, this work proposes that there was another, largely unrecognized, strain in the reception of it. Far from anxious about film’s provenance in popular entertainment, some writers and artists proclaimed that the cinema was the most important art for the moderns, as it exemplified the vibrancy of contemporary life.
This view of the cinema was especially common among those whose commitments were to advanced artistic practices. Their notions about how to recast the art media (or the forms forged from those media’s materials) and the urgency of doing so formed the principal part of the conceptual core of the artistic programs advanced by the vanguard art movements of the first half of the twentieth century. This book, a companion to the author’s previous, Harmony & Dissent, examines the DADA and Surrealist movements as responses to the advent of the cinema.
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Parallels with the Russian Transrationalists and Andrei Bely / 159Ernst’s Frottage as a Handmade Trace and Automatist Form / 325Dalí, Paranoia, and Lacan: A New Phase of Surrealism Begins / 359Surrealism’s Fissures and Luis Buñuel’s Las Hurdes: Tierra sin pan / 403The Surrealist Collage Novel: Une semaine de bonté—“Dimanche” ...
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This book has been very long in the making, and the debts of gratitude I owe increased proportionately with the time that passed. Simply to list the names of those to whom I must express my thanks risks slighting their contributions, but to state what I owe them would make these acknowledgements unduly protracted. I have decided that better than either of those unpalatable options...
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This book is one in a series of volumes whose topic is the early intel-lectual reception of the cinema, especially its reception by those who were associated with advanced artistic practices. The series considers the manner in which art theorists, philosophers, cultural theorists, and, especially, artists of the first decades of the twentieth century responded to the advent of the cinema. DADA, Surrealism, and the Cinematic Effect concerns the cinema’s reception by those who were associ-The common view of the cinema’s early intellectual reception is that art lovers wrote about it in an embarrassed and apologetic tone. The online ...
1The Fate of Reason in Modernity
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Vanguard art is not a single, homogeneous phenomenon—it is plu-ral, differentiated, variegated. The variety of forms it has assumed, however, should not mislead us into overestimating the differences among the various practices commonly called modernism. There are, I believe, two main types of vanguard practices. One type is characterized by a rigorous formalism, based in the belief that aesthetic relations have a transcendental status and are grasped in a higher cognitive act enabled by humans’ quest for form. The aesthetic paradigm for this sort of modernist practice is Immanuel Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft (Critique of ...
Da dai sm and the Di sasters of Wa r
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It would be easy enough to frame a history of modern art along Hegelian lines, which represent art history as one of progress, with each advance marked by a decrease in illusion, the elimination from artistic form of features that were accidental to the medium, and an increased truth to the medium’s material. That history would depict modernism’s march of progress as advancing from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism, then to Fauvism and Expressionism, Analytical Cubism and Synthetic Cubism, and onward, in chronological sequence, to Synchromism, Abstract Expression-ism, Minimalism, and Post-Painterly Abstraction.1 But it would be hard to ...
Surrealism and the Ci nema
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In the previous chapters, we explored developments in mathematics, sci-ence, and philosophy that suggested to people that, by applying its own methods to itself, reason had exposed its inadequacies as means for unveil-ing truths about reality. For centuries, the West had believed that nature’s secrets were yielding progressively to reason’s rigorous and painstaking methods. By and large, the principles that Bacon had unfolded in the The Advancement of Learning (1605) and The New Organon, or True Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature (1620)—principles concerning the application of reason to empirical findings—seemed to be succeeding in ...
In Li eu of a Conclusion
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In Harmony and Dissent: Film and Avant-garde Art Movements in the Early Twentieth Century, a companion to this volume, I examined the intel-lectual reception of the cinema and the influence the cinema had on avant-garde art movements in the early twentieth century. There I made the claim that the common view concerning the early reception of the cinema, a view so common that it has achieved near hegemony—that nearly all early writers on film were troubled by the cinema’s origins in the vaude-ville peep show and the circus sideshow, fearing that its vulgarity made it an unsuitable companion for the great high arts—was incorrect. Some philoso-...
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Page Count: 776
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Film and Media Studies