The Language of Surrealism explores the revolutionary experiments in language and mind undertaken by the surrealists across Europe between the wars. Highly influential on the development of art, literary modernism, and current popular culture, surrealist style remains challenging, striking, resonant and thrilling – and the techniques by which surrealist writing achieves this are set out clearly in this book. Stockwell draws on recent work in cognitive poetics and literary linguistics to re-evaluate surrealism in its own historical setting. In the process, the book questions later critical theoretical views of language that have distorted our ideas about both surrealism and language itself. What follows is a piece of literary criticism that is fully contextualised, historically sensitive, and textually driven, and which sets out in rich and readable detail this most intriguing and disturbing literature.
About the Author
Table of Contents
PART I: THE ORIGINS OF SURREALISM.- 1. The pre-history of surrealism.- 2. The biography of surrealism.- 3. Language in surrealist thought.- PART II: WRITING SURREALISM.- 4. Automaticity.- 5. Collage.- 6. Dissonance.- PART III: READING SURREALISM.- 7. Coherence and confusion8. ambient experience.- 9. Disorientation.- PART IV: TAMING SURREALISM.- 10. Surrealism in the service of the world.
What People are Saying About This
This is the book on surrealism that we have been waiting for in stylistics and twentieth century literary studies. With full contextualisation of the movement and its affiliated figures, Stockwell offers insight into surrealist writing processes, the composition of surrealist texts, and their literary experience for contemporary readers. Ultimately, Stockwell systematically demonstrates not only that surrealism is characterised by the dissonance of defamiliarisation and immersion, but also that modern stylistic analysis is paramount to unravelling the politics and dream-like texture of the surrealist enterprise.' – Dr Alison Gibbons, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
'A completely fascinating and engaging read: Stockwell combines a rich, in-depth consideration of the 'historical moment' of production with the rigour of stylistic/cognitive poetic observation. The result is to go beyond the mere classification of 'surrealist text' to illuminate surrealist writerly technique and the readerly experience of surreal image.' – Dr Lisa Nahajec, Liverpool Hope University, UK