The Inexhaustible Murmur

  • Lars Iyer


It is easy to understand Surrealism as a failure-as the moment in which the artistic vanguard could have realised itself. In one sense, its achievements are clear; they fill our museums. But the Surrealists sought something greater: the abolition of an art that would hold itself apart from the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat. Surrealism might seem to have survived only as a style, yet its task was not to change art, but to realise it by freeing it from the artistic field, drawing out the consequences of an artistic obsolescence the Dadaists had already understood, and rendering it political.


Literary Work Ther Male Literary Fiction Artistic Field Real Woman 
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    Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism, translated by Richard Seaver and Helen R. Lane (The University of Michigan Press, 1972), 30. Translation amended. Early to late, Blanchot attaches enormous importance to Surrealism. The Work of Fire and The Infinite Conversation contain major essays on Surrealism and there are also important reflections in The Space of Literature. A fuller account of his relationship to Surrealism would have to take account of the implicit rejection of Sartre’s reading of Surrealism in What is Literature?Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Lars Iyer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Iyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophical StudiesUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneUK

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