pulp surrealism

Fantomas addressing the skipper of his submarine

Pulp Surrealism is about the secret life of mass culture, specifically its surrealistic undercurrents. It establishes a low-brow, anti-establishment genealogy of the Parisian dada and surrealist movements in the popular realms of crime fiction and sensationalist journalism. Mass culture was not generally inspirational to the surrealists; the vast amount of it was rejected by them as commercialized and mind-numbing. As Aragon stated in Traité du style, “not any old smut is the equivalent of surrealist poetry.” However, the surrealists were connoisseurs of mass culture and they found great sympathies between subterranean impulses in mass culture and their own intellectual and political projects. Unearthing such insolent and popular origins of surrealism is, I think, particularly important today, as the dada and surrealist movements have been elevated to the status of “official culture” in state-sponsored museums and educational systems. (↑Robin Walz)

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