Morning Star: surrealism, marxism, anarchism, situationism, utopia [Paperback] Review

Morning Star: surrealism, marxism, anarchism, situationism, utopia [Paperback]When members of the surviving old guard of surrealism declared the movement over (Le Monde, October 1969), there were many dissenters.International adherents to the idea that surrealism is a state of mind rather than a historical movement affirmed their continued loyalty to its revolutionary principles.Löwy locates these at the intersection of Marxism and anarchism, a mix that aims to pose a counterweight to capitalist rationalism and disenchantment (Max Weber) by re-enchanting the world.Myth, poetry, art created in a spirit of revolt by the unleashing of the forces of dream and the unconscious--these have been liberatory gestures and practices that are common to the subjects of Löwy's engaging essays, from Benjamin to Debord, from Pierre Naville to Vincent Bouonore and Claude Cahun.
The recent collapse of many capitalist institutions has exposed the false rationality on which those institutions were based and we are left with a world that is not only disenchanted but chaotic, a world in which many of the predictions of the Communist Manifesto have been borne out in devastating ways.Löwy's fascinating book invites us to the positive labor of "re-enchantment," providing models for active engagement and stimulus for further reading.
An appealing feature of this volume is the presence of art work by many of Löwy's international surrealist friends, as well as some of his own works.The art work also comprises many contributions by women surrealists--the Prague surrealist Eva Svankmajerova and the Canadian Marie S.(alias "Ingatta") whose "illuminated envelopes" are beguiling contributions to mail art.By themselves, these point to a salient aspect of present-day surrealism--the presence of impressive women artists and writers.A whole chapter is dedicated to the surrealist artist Ody Saban, a welcome addition from the French edition.

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Product Description:

An expanded edition of revered theorist Michael Löwy's Morning Star: Marxism and Surrealism (previously published in French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Greek), this masterwork collects the author's essays on the ways in which surrealism intersected with a variety of revolutionary political approaches, ranging from utopian ideals to Marxism and situationism. Taking its title from André Breton's essay"Arcane 17," which casts the star as the searing firebrand of rebellion, Löwy's provocative work spans many perspectives. These include surrealist artists who were deeply interested in Marxism and anarchism (Breton among them), as well as Marxists who were deeply interested in surrealism (Walter Benjamin in particular).Probing the dialectics of innovation, diversity, continuity, and unity throughout surrealism's international presence, Morning Star also incorporates analyses of Claude Cahun, Guy Debord, Pierre Naville, José Carlos Mariátegui and others, accompanied by numerous reproductions of surrealist art. An extraordinarily rich collection, Morning Star promises to ignite new dialogues regarding the very nature of dissent.

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