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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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Poetry in the Object World

Poetry in the Object World

(p.144) 5 Poetry in the Object World
Obscure Objects of Desire Surrealism, Fetishism, and Politics

Johanna Malt

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses what happens when language is introduced into the picture-quite literally-in the form of the poème-objet, which combines text with three-dimensional collage. André Breton's own practice in the domain of object creation diverges from that of Salvador Dalí and others in one crucial respect: the incorporation of language into the surrealist object. The chapter considers how Breton's own involvement with visual forms of surrealist activity is motivated by particular aims, notably that of including language in the category of phenomena to be reappraised and inscribed in a dialectic of subjective and objective forces. For in seeking to prove the materialist credentials on which surrealism's political engagement relied, Breton created a class of poème-objet in which a power struggle takes place between word and image, between concealment and display, between fetishism and sublimation.

Keywords:   poème-objet, André Breton, object, Salvador Dalí, visual forms, surrealist activity, surrealism, fetishism, sublimation

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