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Title: Affects of ekstasis in surrealism's occluded practices
Author: Brough, Vivienne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 2081
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This study proposes that there exists a coherent alternative strand of surrealist praxis evident in works produced by certain international surrealists and ex-surrealists: this strand is seen to be marked by a presentation of the affects of ekstasis. This proposition is examined in relation to three differentiated international prose works. This spectrum of responses is charted through the novels, Zenobia (1985, En. ed. 1995) by the Romanian Gellu Naum, Le Cornet acoustique (The Hearing Trumpet) (1974, En. ed. 1976) by the British expatriate Leonora Carrington, and Los pasos perdidos (The Lost Steps) (1953, En. ed. 1956) by the Cuban Alejo Carpentier. The expressions of sacred ecstasy present in the novels are analysed using the theory of sociologie sacree (sacred sociology) developed by the dissident surrealists Georges Bataille and Roger Caillois in the College de Sociologie (1937-39) and through Bataille's concepts of sacred ecstasy and inner experience. Following Emile Durkheim's directive to examine ecstasy only in reference to the ancient Greek concept of ekstasis however, I have recourse to Plato's Socratic dialogue Phaedrus to provide an image of ekstasis upon which to base the analysis of the literary texts. This analysis will be complemented by the work of Mircea Eliade, the historian of religions. The particular geo-social histories of these 'penumbral' surrealisms highlight the impact of Parisian surrealism on local cultures, and the impact that local political or cultural oppression has had upon the development of international surrealism. On the one hand, this study provides a new insight from which to comprehend international surrealism in the context of dissident surrealism, adding to site-specific critical work on the field. On the other, it provides a new way of reading the unique contributions of each author to surrealism and of the commonalities that bind these disparate surrealist expressions together.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available