Surrealpolitik: The Arcades Project

Author: Walter Benjamin


Quick Summary

Not yet created!


There are 10 quotes currently associated with this book.

Balzac was the first to speak of the ruins of the bourgeoisie. But it was Surrealism that first opened our eyes to them...The realization of dream elements, in the course of waking up, is the paradigm of dialectical thinking. Thus, dialectical thinking is the organ of historical awakening. Every epoch, in fact, not only dreams the one to follow but, in dreaming, precipitates its awakening. (page 13)
Tags: [Surrealism & Politics, Dreams]
"The false Paris has the good taste to recognize that nothing is more useless or more immoral than a riot. Though it may gain the upper hand for a few minutes, it is quelled for several centuries." Paul-Ernest de Rattier, Paris n'existe pas (Paris, 1857), p.62. [E8,2] (page 138)
Tags: [Activism]
To encompass both Breton and Le Corbusier -- that would mean drawing the spirit of contemporary France like a bow, with which knowledge shoots the moment in the heart. [N1a,5] (page 459)
Tags: [Surrealism's Promise]
"When Eugène Sue, following upon...Les Mystères de Londres (by Paul Féval),...conceived the project of writing Les Mystères de Paris, he did not at all propose to arouse the interest of the reader with a description of society's underworld. He began by characterizing his novel as an histoire fantastique....It was a newspaper article that decided his future. La Phalange praised the beginning of the novel and opened the author's eyes: 'M. Sue has just set out on the most penetrating critique of society....Let us congratulate him for having recounted...the frightful sufferings of the working class and the cruel indifference of society.' The author of this article...received a visit from Sue; they talked -- and that is how the novel already underway was pointed in a new direction....Eugène Sue convinced himself: he took part in the electoral battle and was elected ...(1848)...The tendencies and the far-reaching effects of Sue's novels were such that M. Alfred Nettement could see in them one of the determining causes of the Revolution of 1848." Edmond Benoit-Lévy, "Les Misérables" de Victor Hugo (Paris, 1929), pp. 18-19. [d6a,2] (page 720)
Tags: [Politics & Novels]
Ironical: "What a happy thought on the part of M. de Balzac -- to predict a peasant revolt and demand the reestablishment of feudalism! What is so surprising in that? It is his idea of socialism. Mme. Sand has another, and M. Sue likewise. To each novelist his own." Paulin Limayrac, "Du Roman actual et de now romancers," Revue des deux mondes, 11, no. 3 (Paris, 1845), pp. 955-956. [d1,5] (page 745)
Tags: [Politics & Novels]
The novels of George Sand led to an increase in the number of divorces, nearly all of which were initiated by the wife. The author carried on a large correspondence in which she functioned as an adviser to women. [d6a,7] (page 758)
Tags: [Politics & Novels]
Nettement on the digressions in Les Misérables: "These bits of philosophy, of history, of social economy are like cold-water taps that douse the frozen and discouraged reader. It is hydrotherapy applied to literature." Alfred Nettement, Le Roman contemporain (Paris, 1864), p. 364. [d7a,2] (page 759)
Tags: [Politics & Novels]
"The no longer only a way of telling a story but has become an investigation, a continual discovery...Balzac stands at the limit of the literature of imagination and of the literature of exactitude. He has books in which the spirit of inquiry is rigorous, like Eugénie Grandet or César Birotteau; others in which the unreal is blended with the real, like La Femme de trente ans; and still others, like Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu, composed of elements drawn from a variety of jeux d'esprit." Pierre Hamp, "La Littérature, image de la société," Encyclopédie française, vol. 16, Arts et liftératters dans la sockété contemporaine, 1, p.64. [d13,4] (page 769)
Tags: [Politics & Novels]
With the increase in public advertising, newspapers turned against the annonces déguisées (advertisements in disguise), which no doubt had brought in more for journalists than for the administration. [d14,3] (Chapter on Literary History, Hugo) (page 770)
Tags: [Propaganda]
The father of Surrealism was Dada; its mother was an arcade. Dada, when the two first met, was already old. At the end of 1919, Aragon and Breton, out of antipathy to Montparnasse and Montmartre, transferred the site of their meeting with friends to a café in the Passage de l'Opéra. Construction of the Boulevard Haussmann brought about the demise of the Passage de l'Opéra. Louis Aragon devoted 135 pages to this arcade; in the sum of these three digits hides the number nine -- the number of muses who presided as midwives at the birth of Surrealism. These stalwart muses are named Ballhorn, Lenin, Luna, Freud, Mors, Marlitt, and Citroen. A provident reader will make way for them all, as discreetly as possible, wherever they are encountered in the course of these lines. In Paysan de Paris, Aragon conducts as touching a requiem for this arcade as any man has ever conducted for the mother of his son. It is there to be read, but here one should expect no more than a physiology and, to be blunt, an autopsy of these parts of the capital city of Europe, parts that could not be more mysterious or more dead. (See C1,3.) [h°,1] (page 883)
Tags: [Politics & Novels, Surrealism & Dada, Surrealism & Politics]