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C LIT 362 A: Topics In Modern Literature

Surrealism and the Avant-Garde

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
SMI 115
Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen

Syllabus Description:

Surrealism and the Avant-Garde

Surrealism, which emerged in Paris in the early 1920s from the social upheaval of post-WWI Europe and more especially from Dadaism, is arguably the most influential avant-garde movement of the 20th century.  It rejected social, moral and logical conventions and sought to revolutionize art, literature, politics  and life in the name of freedom, desire and the unconscious.  Surrealist art, which was viewed by the surrealists as a means of liberation beyond purely aesthetic considerations, is characterized by a diversity of forms of expression:  writing, painting, drawing, photography, film, collage, found objects, sculpture, theater;  and of practices:  automatic writing, hypnosis, and somnambulic strolling in the streets of Paris.  We will study all these forms of expression and examine the challenges surrealism poses to traditional notions of art, literature and politics. 

Readings:  André Breton, Manifestoes of SurrealismCommunicating Vessels;  Nadja;  Louis Aragon,  Paris Peasant.  

Catalog Description: 
Explores topics in literature and cultures of the modern world (approximately 1800-present) across national and regional cultures, such as particular movements, authors, genres, themes, or problems.
Department Requirements Met: 
Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:24pm