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Title: (Re)visions of difference : surrealist encounters, magical realist moments, bi-sexual desires
Author: Haynes, Anna C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 7821
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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The aim of this project is to assess how Surrealist encounters, magical realist moments, and bi-sexual desires problematise the dominant framework of differences in which (sexual) subjects are enmeshed. Part One considers the French Surrealist Movement in the 1920s. I begin with a cultural contextualisation of Surrealism which focuses on its leading journal, La Revolution surrealiste. Reading its texts in the light of Marx, Freud, and Einstein's three fold disavowal of Descartes' cogito, I explore the extent to which Surrealism undermines the oppositional certainties proposed by Enlightenment claims to subjectivity. In Surrealist texts, discursive constructions of 'man' and 'women' police sexual norms and it is precisely here, in the regulation and/or resistance of hierarchical binary difference in the sex-gender-sexuality matrix, that the inevitablility of the hetero/homo dyad is unravelled or reconfirmed. Claude Cahun's photographic self-portraiture signifies a reappropriation of 'woman' at the level of representation that fissures the heteronormative realist narrative of singular and singularly sexualised subject positions. Following a brief interlude on Frida Kahlo's paintings, Part Two reconsiders 'magical realism' as a mode of knowledge that questions the naturalised assumption of oppositional difference. Close readings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Of Love and Other Demons demonstrate that 'magical realist moments' align with bi-sexual desires in their reclamation, and reconfiguration, of spaces 'in between'. In addition, discourses of racial separatism and assimilation intersect with the sexual matrix in the elision of ambiguity and 'queerness', and my analysis of Toni Morrison's Paradise asks what it means to represent subjects as neither black nor white, gay nor straight. Finally, I call on existing bisexual theories to foreground how indeterminacy re-imag(in)es cultural spaces and alters the limits of cultural intelligibility. This shift in the topography and topology of difference seizes the referential slipperiness that Surrealist encounters, magical realist moments, and bi-sexual desires all thrive on and demand.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available