The Edge of Surrealism: A Roger Caillois Reader

The Edge of Surrealism: A Roger Caillois Reader

by Roger Caillois
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822330687

ISBN-13: 9780822330684

Pub. Date: 07/08/2003

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

The Edge of Surrealism is an essential introduction to the writing of French social theorist Roger Caillois. Caillois was part of the Surrealist avant-garde and in the 1930s founded the College of Sociology with Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris. He spent his life exploring issues raised by this famous group and by Surrealism itself. Though his subjects

Overview

The Edge of Surrealism is an essential introduction to the writing of French social theorist Roger Caillois. Caillois was part of the Surrealist avant-garde and in the 1930s founded the College of Sociology with Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris. He spent his life exploring issues raised by this famous group and by Surrealism itself. Though his subjects were diverse, Caillois focused on concerns crucial to modern intellectual life, and his essays offer a unique perspective on many of twentieth-century France’s most significant intellectual movements and figures. Including a masterful introductory essay by Claudine Frank situating his work in the context of his life and intellectual milieu, this anthology is the first comprehensive introduction to Caillois’s work to appear in any language.

These thirty-two essays with commentaries strike a balance between Caillois’s political and theoretical writings and between his better known works, such as the popular essays on the praying mantis, myth, and mimicry, and his lesser-known pieces. Presenting several new pieces and drawing on interviews and unpublished correspondence, this book reveals Caillois’s consistent effort to reconcile intellectual rigor and imaginative adventure. Perhaps most importantly, The Edge of Surrealism provides an overdue look at how Caillois’s intellectual project intersected with the work of Georges Bataille and others including Breton, Bachelard, Benjamin, Lacan, and Lévi-Strauss.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822330684
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
07/08/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
440
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Introduction1
I.Theory and the Thirties, 1934-1939
Surrealism and Its Environs
1.Testimony (Paul Eluard)59
2.The Praying Mantis: From Biology to Psychoanalysis66
3.Letter to Andre Breton; Literature in Crisis82
4.Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia89
Biology and Myth
5.Review of L'Homme, cet inconnu107
6.The Function of Myth110
7.The Noon Complex124
8.For a Militant Orthodoxy: The Immediate Tasks of Modern Thought130
Lucifer at the College of Sociology
9.Interview with Gilles Lapouge, June 1970141
10.First Lecture: Sacred Sociology and the Relationships among "Society," "Organism," and "Being"147
11.Dionysian Virtues155
12.Aggressiveness as a Value160
13.The Birth of Lucifer166
14.Paris, a Modern Myth173
15.Sociology of the Intellectual190
II.Writing from Patagonia, 1940-1945
After the College
16.Preamble to the Spirit of Sects205
17.Discussions of Sociological Topics: On "Defense of the Republic"213
18.The Nature and Structure of Totalitarian Regimes217
Treasure and Culture
19.Duties and Privileges of French Writers Abroad235
20.Patagonia240
21.The Myth of Secret Treasures in Childhood252
22.The Situation of Poetry262
23.Pythian Heritage (On the Nature of Poetic Inspiration)268
III.Postwar Stances, 1946-1978
The Moralist
24.Loyola to the Rescue of Marx279
25.Paroxysms of Society284
26.Metamorphoses of Hell298
Signs and Images
27.The Image315
28.Fruitful Ambiguity320
29.Surrealism as a World of Signs326
Diagonal Science
30.The Great Bridgemaker337
31.A New Plea for Diagonal Science343
32.The Natural Fantastic348
Roger Caillois Timeline359
Notes363
Bibliography401
Index415

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