Suzanne Muzard; Photobooths and Surrealists

Here’s some cool pictures of Suzanne Muzard, apparently the inspiration of Nadja by André Breton: from here. (DEFINITELY CHECK IT OUT!)

But it turns out she wasn’t the only one who liked to take pictures in photo booths. Prattle and Jaw, a pretty cool blog, has a post containing all kinds of cool photo booth pictures of surrealists.

Raymond Queneau

I don’t really know why these pictures happened, and Prattle and Jaw don’t say much on the subject, but it seems like the fixed space and unpredictability of photo booths make them a pretty fun automatic game.

Actually, just googled it and found this wonderful article on The Atlantic: “André in Wonderland: In 1928 the first photobooth arrived in Paris – and for Breton and the surrealists, it was a dream come true” by Jonathan Jones. This article is a really lovely short history of surrealisms and its factions, and also provides some context to the pictures on Prattle and Jaw’s blog post. Here’s a great excerpt:

In The Manifesto of Surrealism he issued in 1924, Breton defines surrealism as “pure psychic automatism”. Automatism and the automatic: the photomaton was a readymade surrealist photography that removed the conscious, controlling mind of the photographer and took a stream of images too quickly for the sitter to compose her or himself in any but the most basic ways. The close range of the portraits and the flat background add to the sense of being surprised, taken aback, even abused, that we feel after sitting for a strip of passport pictures. The brutality that makes photomaton portraits uncomfortable makes them, for the surrealists, insightful.

I’m thinking the French majors I study with need to somehow make this part of the end of the year party.


Cool article about Paul Éluard’s daughter and growing up with the Surrealists

“Watching boxing with Picasso and a ménage-à-trois at home: my life with the surrealist elite”

A very cool article from The Guardian.


History/Context, Uncategorized

Les illustrations d’Henri Michaux

Asemic Writing by Henri Michaux

From Michaux’s Movements, 1951: Whoever, having perused my signs, is led by my example to create signs himself according to his being and his needs will, unless I am very much mistaken, discover a source of exhilaration, a release such as he has never known, a disencrustation, a new life open to him, a writing unhoped for, affording relief, in which he will be able at last to express himself far from words, words, the words of others. – See more at: http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2012/03/monthly-stumblings-14-tim-gaze/#sthash.2bEYMufn.dpuf

History/Context, Uncategorized

Strait of Euripus

In Apollinaire’s poem, “Le Voyageur,” hé writes, “La vie est variable aussi bien que l’Euripe.”

l’Euripe (Euripus) is a strait in Greece where the current changes FOUR TIMES A DAY. Small boats can’t make it through, and the passage is not wide enough for very big boats. And even if you can get a boat through, you have to be careful because there is a high risk of VORTEX FORMATION.

Hydrology, man.

History/Context, Uncategorized

Susan Brison: Badass

Obviously it wasn’t Susan Brison who wrote this letter, but she endorsed it, which is cool, and adds to all the other cool things she has done.

For those who don’t know, she’s the Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dartmouth and wrote a really amazing book called Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self. I only have to (get to) read one chapter of this for exams, but it’s well worth a read if you’re interested at all in trauma studies.

Specifically, Brison uses her own experience being raped and then almost murdered as a jumping off point to address some problems in traditional philosophical thought. In this chapter, she addresses the way traumatic events fracture the self, then uses these new conceptions of the self to propose ways in which survivors of trauma can begin the healing process.