Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris

Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris

Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris

Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris

Synopsis

"A 'wonder cabinet' of a book that brings to vivid life again the ephemeral pleasures of flanerie in Paris. Walz is a marvelous guide to the pulp fiction, newspaper sensationalism, and 'disreputable, ' fast-disappearing neighborhoods of Paris that the surrealists not only loved but drew on for inspiration in their revolutionary effort to reconfigure human consciousness in early twentieth-century France." Richard Abel, author of "The Cine Goes to Town: French Cinema, 1896-1914 and "The Red Rooster Scare: Making Cinema American, 1900-1910

"Robin Walz's "Pulp Surrealism represents an original and creative approach to the cultural history of the French interwar avant-garde. He shifts our focus away from surrealist texts themselves to the conditions of their production and in the process illuminates in fascinating ways the relationship between surrealism and popular culture." Carolyn Dean, author of "The Frail Social Body: Pornography, Homosexuality, and Other Fantasies in Interwar France

"Pulp Surrealism is the vibrant story of the interplay between avant-garde intellectuals and emerging mass culture in the early years of the twentieth century. In this stimulating history Robin Walz lays bare the many contradictory connections between high and popular culture, and in the process restores to life the brilliant effrontery and joy of the surrealist movement." Tyler Stovall, author of "The Rise of the Paris Red Belt and "Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light

Excerpt

If, as it is often said, man is double, it is because social man superimposes himself upon physical man. This social identity necessarily implies a society, which it expresses and serves. When this dissolves, however, … it leaves us devoid of all objective foundations. All that remains is an artificial combination of illusory images, a phantasmagoria made unconscious at the slightest reflection…. Consequently, we lack motives to live; for the only life we possess no longer corresponds to anything in reality….

Emile Durkheim, Le Suicide (1897)

Suicide is a poorly formed word—that which kills is not the same as that which is killed.

Théodore Jouffroy, quoted in André Breton, “Is Suicide a Solution?” (1924)

The first number of La Révolution Surréaliste was issued on 1 December 1924. the cover announced, “We must realize a new declaration of the rights of man. ” the inside cover identified Pierre Naville and Benjamin Péret as the directors of the Central Bureau of Surrealist Research, “open daily from 4:30 to 6:30, 15, rue de Grenelle. ” On the bottom third of the second page, in large and bold typeface, the journal announced the first surrealist enquête:

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