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Surrealism and the Gothic : Castles of the Interior (Hardcover) (Neil Matheson)

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Deeply rooted in Romanticism, Surrealism was a movement founded in part upon an enthusiasm for the Gothic novel, and as this study argues, was pervaded throughout its history by a 'Gothic' sensibility. The book uses the concept of 'the Gothic' as a unifying thread to explore Surrealism's direct links with Gothic literature, pulp fiction and theatre, and with 'Gothic' psychological and scientific themes. Neil Matheson reconsiders the role of theatre and performance within Surrealism, as writers such as Breton and Artaud became fascinated with popular, and melodramatic, cultural forms. The study evaluates the impact of the First World War in instigating a 'Gothic turn', on the emergence of Surrealism and the group's engagement with mediums and séances. By the Second World War, Breton had developed a serious concern with magic and the occult, and the book analyses both this neglected aspect of his writings and the impact of magic on post-war Surrealism, including works by Yves Klein and Kenneth Anger. This volume concludes in investigating the resurgence of interest in Sade's work during the post-war era, its relationship with the artwork of the period and with debates on the representation of violence in Cold War–era visual culture.

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