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Obscure Objects of Desire Surrealism, Fetishism, and Politics$
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Johanna Malt

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253425

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253425.001.0001

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Subjectivity and Revolutionary Commitment

Subjectivity and Revolutionary Commitment

(p.9) 1 Subjectivity and Revolutionary Commitment
Obscure Objects of Desire Surrealism, Fetishism, and Politics

Johanna Malt

Oxford University Press

The point of departure in this chapter is the fundamental question of the possibility of a revolutionary art. What can writers and artists contribute to the cause of a Communist proletarian revolution? Though this may seem a very general, pragmatic, and perhaps ambitious place to start, it serves to establish the parameters of the debate in terms of Marxist cultural theory. The chapter sets out a brief account of André Breton's theory of the surrealist revolution, and sketches its possible positions in relation to the Communist revolution itself. The chapter's intention in doing this is not to rehearse a set of well-established surrealist tenets, and certainly not to retrace the movement's involvement with the Communist Party, but rather to establish the limitations of an approach based on individual or collective political engagement.

Keywords:   revolutionary art, revolution, cultural theory, André Breton, theory, surrealist revolution, Communist revolution, surrealist tenets

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