The object is central to this book's argument, and it focuses on surrealist reactions to, and production of, objects; on the way various surrealists respond to and intervene in the material world through text, painting, and particularly through the invention of the objet surréaliste. Part of the reason for such an approach is a response to the problematic relationship between theory and practice. Focusing on the object is a way of engaging with surrealist products as political in themselves, and moving beyond the political alignment of the surrealists as individuals and as a group. It allows us to test various surrealist products against the political claims made on their behalf. It is possible to read it as a crossroads of political and psychoanalytic theories, as a point on which Marxist and Freudian preoccupations, the political insight of ‘profane illumination’ and the psychological fascination of ‘le merveilleux’, converge.
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