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There were 87 results from your search for keyword(s): 'Humor'.

  1. "But I agree that rather than giving out information someone would be able to check, it's better to limit yourself to insinuation. Insinuation doesn't involve saying anything in particular, it just serves to raise a doubt about the person making the denial. For example: 'We are happy to note the explanation, but we understand that Signor Perniketti' -- always keep to Signor, rather than Onorevole or Dottor; Signor is the worst insult in our country -- 'has sent dozens of denials to countless newspapers. This must indeed be a full-time compulsion.' This way, readers become convinced he is paranoid. You see the advantage of insinuation: by saying that Perniketti has written to other newspapers, we are simply telling the truth, which can't be denied. The most effective insinuation is the one that gives facts that are valueless in themselves, yet cannot be denied because they are true."

    Source: Numero Zero, p. 68-69
  2. "Everything that ever gets done in this world is done by madmen," Mr Scogan went on... "People are quite ready to listen to the philosophers for a little amusement, just as they would listen to a fiddler or a mountebank. But as to acting on the advice of the men of reason -- never. Wherever the choice has had to be made between the man of reason and the madman, the world has unhesitatingly followed the madman."

    Source: Crome Yellow, p. 122
  3. "It is impossible to understand how millions and millions of people all obey a sickly collection of gentlemen that call themselves 'Government!' The word, I expect, frightens people. It is a form of planetary hypnosis, and very unhealthy."

    Source: The Hearing Trumpet, p. 126
  4. "It is signed by Veruccio Veriti. So, what's the point of this denial of a denial? Point number one, that the newspaper has received the information from sources close to Signor Perniketti. This always works. The sources aren't given, but it implies the newspaper has confidential sources, perhaps more reliable than Perniketti. Use is then made of the journalist's notebook. No one will ever see the notebook, but the idea of an actual record tends to inspire confidence in the newspaper and suggests that there is evidence. Lastly, insinuations are made that are meaningless in themselves but throw a shadow of suspicion over Perniketti. Now I don't say all denials have to take this form -- this is just a parody -- but keep in mind the three fundamental elements for a denial of a denial: other sources, notes in the reporter's notebook, and doubts about the reliability of the person making the denial. Understood?"

    "Very good," they replied in chorus.

    Source: Numero Zero, p. 67
  5. "Men are very difficult to understand," said Carmella. "Let's hope they all freeze to death. I am sure it would be very pleasant and healthy for human beings to have no authority whatever. They would have to think for themselves, instead of always being told what to do and think by advertisements, cinemas, policemen and parliaments."

    Source: The Hearing Trumpet, p. 126
  6. 'Do load again,' she cried, 'Sydney! I love it awfully. It's just beautiful -- for a mere toy, you know -- only to amuse one's self with. I think it's really a lovely invention. I could go on firing all the evening.'

    'So could I,' Sydney answered, reloading quickly. 'I love to see the noiseless effect produced so instantaneously on the board opposite one. It seems so like the "Arabian Nights." You pull a trigger, and hi, presto! a man falls down dead at once before you.'

    'Would it go through a man like that?' Maimie asked, shuddering, even as she fired.

    'To be sure it would. Clean through him at a shot. Its explosive force is, weight for weight, about fourteen times that of gunpowder. You don't care for the exact decimals, I suppose, do you?'

    'I don't know what decimals are, I'm sure,' Maimie answered, with a little toss of her pretty round head; 'but I don't like to think about a bullet making a great hole like that right through a human body. I call it awfully wicked of you, Sydney, to go inventing new ways of killing off your fellow-creatures. Load the pistol again for me please, will you?'

    Sydney laughed, and loaded gaily.

    Source: For Maimie's Sake: A Tale of Love and Dynamite, p. 158
  7. 'In the dream I’d be going about a normal day's business and suddenly, with no warning, there'd be the sign. We were a member of the National Automobile Dealer's Association. NADA. Just this creaking metal sign that said nada, nada, against the blue sky. I used to wake up hollering.'

    Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 110-111
  8. 'It is here somewhere,' the Sergeant said, 'or beside a place somewhere near the next place adjacent.'

    Source: The Third Policeman, p. 110
  9. 'Job was a very rich man. He lost all his goods, and all his sons and daughters, and took it all very philosophically. He said, "The Lord gave, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord." Then he gets covered with boils; and it's only then that his nerve gives way, he's touched personally. He starts his complaint against God at that point only. No question of why his sons should have lost their lives, no enquiries of God about the cause of their fate. It's his skin disease that sets him off.'

    Source: The Only Problem, p. 366
  10. 'Laugh, but weep at the same time. If you cannot weep with your eyes, weep with your mouth. If this is still impossible, urinate'. [Maldoror]

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 43
  11. 'No, Mrs. Somebody,' the old Captain assented, with a sagacious nod; 'she certainly hasn't. She's been brought up clean away from all nonsense, all hypocrisy, all humbug of every kind; and you won't find a better girl going anywhere than our Maimie. She's been brought up obedient to reason, and to reason only. I've treated her systematically with pure reason. I'm an old sailor, and on board ship we used all to have a great deal too much authority and too little reason. I hate authority -- I detest authority; I'm all for reason. Miami, my dear, I'm opposed to authority, am I not, and all for reason?'

    Source: For Maimie's Sake: A Tale of Love and Dynamite, p. 36
  12. 'So these are your foreigner friends, Maimie,' the redoubtable Captain cried out loudly, as he pervaded the one wee sitting-room with his colossal presence. 'These are your new London friends, are they, with the Frenchified name and the trade of painter? Good-morning, sir; good-morning, Mrs. Somebody. I can't screw my honest English tongue around your outlandish crack-jaw foreigner lingo, I'm sorry to tell you; but I'm glad to meet you all the same -- I'm glad to meet you; and Maimie tells me you've been very kind to her.'

    Source: For Maimie's Sake: A Tale of Love and Dynamite, p. 34
  13. 'This Stilettoed Eel is terrific,' said Chick. 'Where did you get the idea from?'
    'Nicolas had it,' said Colin. 'There's an eel -- or there was an eel, rather -- that used to go into his wash-basin every day through the cold-water tap.'
    'What a funny thing to do,' said Chick. 'Why did it do that?'
    'It used to pop its head out and empty the toothpaste by squeezing the tube with its teeth. Nicolas only uses that American brand with the pineapple flavor, and I don't think it could resist the temptation.'

    Source: Froth on the Daydream, p. 17
  14. A second secret element is the clandestine headquarters, which should consist of a 'tiny number of men' who were willing and prepared to undertake 'more or less concerted action' (Mariën, 1989: 67). As a first task, the group should produce a basic liquid capital required for initiating the campaign. To this purpose, Mariën’s (1989) envisages 'real' terrorist acts:

    "[T]he single opportunity to procure that money obviously consists in getting it there, where it is. [...] A blade against the throat, the threat of some Asian torture as well as hostage-taking would make each bank manager a precious and entirely compliant auxiliary tool. [...] Employees and customers [...] are not at all prepared to resist the onslaught of machine pistols, hand grenades, teargas or, if necessary, flamethrowers." (pp.122, 127)

    Source: Surrealistic communication as symbolic terrorism: The example of Marcel Mariën’s theory of political campaigning, p. 197
  15. A woman's sympathy is always grateful to a man in adversity, even though the woman herself who gives it be an adamantine communist.

    Source: For Maimie's Sake: A Tale of Love and Dynamite, p. 236
  16. Absurdity in the manner of Mark Twain, with which the American culture industry flirts from time to time, could be a corrective to art.

    Source: Dialectic of Enlightenment, p. 113
  17. Against all forms of oppression and horror, humor wreaks havoc. When oppression and horror become total, nothing less than total humor can do the trick. In the coming revolution the role of humor will be decisive, and the role of surrealism no less so, for surrealism is the lever of that humor.

    From chapter: Humor: Here Today & Everywhere Tomorrow, Franklin Rosemont
    Source: Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion, p. 82-83
  18. Aggressively undermining the existing order's monopolization of the definition of reality...the new humor opens fire in all directions with the only effective weapons of the next revolution: the free development of rambunctious shenanigans, the ceaseless unfettering of the revolutionary imagination, new ways of saying no to the whole stinking mess of capitalist-christian civilizations.

    From chapter: Humor: Here Today & Everywhere Tomorrow, Franklin Rosemont
    Source: Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion, p. 84
  19. All their observations, however, overlook what seems most compelling about the Anthology: the fact that, behind its Freudian mask, it demonstrates a critique of aesthetic language from a specifically social perspective. In this respect, Breton seems to leapfrog the later American notion of black humour as thematized nihilism and return us to a consideration of the vexed nature of representation itself, a task as relevant to 'postmodernity' as it was to the modernist moment from which it sprang.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 26
  20. All three, the Hausmeister, Max, the park attendant, were aware that Ulrich's father had worn a monocle, and that his name was Ulrich von Hargenau, and that he had died for his fatherland, another euphemism, and that Ulrich and his brother had dropped the von, a gesture that was universally regarded with suspicion and a quite irrational anger. As a rule, people did not drop their von. The Hausmeister, Max, and the park attendant also knew that Ulrich had been up to his neck in left-wing politics, and that as recently as nine months ago he had been involved in a long drawn-out trial in which his evidence had been used by the prosecution to build an airtight case, enabling them to lock up what everyone considered a bunch of ill-mannered agitators. In some quarters there was more outrage about their alleged bad manners than their left-wing rhetoric.

    Source: How German Is It, p. 34
  21. Among the things that distinguished us from the New and Used Left was the fact that we laughed not only at the society of scissorbills and squares, but also at ourselves. We also realized that The Revolution itself was funny. I am absolutely serious. What on Earth could be funnier than overturning 500-odd years of capitalist slavery?

    Source: Dancin' in the Streets, p. 33
  22. As an aesthetic mode, black humour is thus harshly self-critical, dwelling precisely on that boundary between the promise of artistic redemption and a recognition of the latter's impossibility in reality. Here we have its odd tone: speaking from a strange, cold and cruel place, it provides a voice that is at once historical in the epochal, Hegelian sense and yet insidiously near to us in its form of address.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 44
  23. But the shocking revelation that modernity is a thinly veiled theatre of cruelty is not, however, the full extent of black humour's capacity for irony, although that perception guides our subsequent understanding of the mode.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 36
  24. Chester Himes's Harlem crime thrillers, and La Reine des pommes in particular, take this parodic ambition to precisely the baroque excesses at which Deleuze hints. Yet in doing so, the novels end up embracing this parody in a very different way, with a complex combination of political anger and a vernacular ear that resonates more with the cultural project of surrealism than with Deleuze's "copy without an original."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 254
  25. Clearly the fundamental task of revolutionists today must be to find ways of freeing people, and especially working people, of their repression, so that instead of denying the omnipresent horror they can recognize it and change the social system that perpetuates it. Humor alone can effect this revolution in consciousness on a large scale.

    Attempts to achieve the same ends by "serious," rational means invariably prove self-defeating. Rational argument affects only a very small number of people a very small part of the time; if this were not the case, the world revolution would have been made long ago and we would all right now be enjoying life in marvelous anarchy. But to try to convince someone, by rational means, to see something that is in fact unbearable, is doubly thankless: first, because no one wants to see how horrible everything really is, and second, because even if some could be made to see it, to do so would probably serve to paralyze them with fear rather than move them to action. To perceive the horror directly is more than anyone can stand, and can lead only to suicide or madness. Humor, however, not only deflects the horror's full force by means of a powerful shield of poetic intuition, but also provides, in self-defense, weapons of eros-affirmative action. In the world as it is today, humor has become a matter of life and death.

    From chapter: Humor: Here Today & Everywhere Tomorrow, Franklin Rosemont
    Source: Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion, p. 83
  26. Considered as the victory of the mind over the world, that is, Surrealism makes the mistake of dissolving a material reality into a psychic one, neglecting the dialecticism prerequisite for such a move.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 31
  27. Deleuze's notion of parody refers less to the novels' play on the conventions of the detective story form, however, than to their parodic relation to "the real" itself. He suggests that the novels presuppose the artificiality and even "falsehood" of lived reality, supplanting mimetic representation with the projection of simulacra.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 254
  28. Don Benjamin was hardly three feet tall and as slender and hairy as a bat; it was impossible for him to see what was interesting the groups of people and police over the shoulders of Doña Benjamin, a woman of colossal build, who required two seats in the tram (one for each buttock) and more than eight yards of material for a dress.

    Source: El Senor Presidente, p. 53
  29. Fearing his bed would cool, he hastened past the emptiness of the hall, where a handsome girl stood poised without her clothes on the brink of a blue river. Napoleon peered at her in a wanton fashion from the dark of the other wall.

    Source: At Swim-Two-Birds, p. 32-33
  30. First of all: the pastor confirmed his statement, saying that the News had quoted him correctly and word for word, no, he could offer no proof of his claim nor did he want to, he even said he did not need to, he could still rely on his sense of smell and he had simply smelled that Blum was a Communist. When asked to define his sense of smell he refused, nor was he very helpful when Blorna then asked him kindly to explain, if he could not define his sense of smell, what the smell of a Communist was like, how a Communist smelled, and at this point -- it has to be said -- the pastor became quite rude, asked Blorna whether he was a Catholic and, when Blorna said yes, reminded him of his duty to be obedient, which Blorna did not understand.

    Source: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, p. 90
  31. For Breton, the 'true initiator' and model for the Anthology, is hence Swift, the satirist who 'provokes laughter, but does not share in it' and whose work contains a 'sublime element' that can 'transcend the merely comic' [p. 3].

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 26
  32. He didn't hear any more because an inordinately lengthy individual, who had been giving a demonstration of speed for the past five minutes, had just slipped through his legs by leaning forward as far as possible and the rush of air that he created lifted Colin several yards above the ground. He clutched at the edge of the first floor gallery, got his balance and after doing a backwards somersault the wrong way round, landed back at the sides of Chick and Lisa.

    'They ought to be stopped from going too fast,' said Colin.

    Then he quickly crossed himself because the culprit had just skated straight into the wall of the restaurant at the other end of the rink and flattened himself against it like a marshmallow jelly-fish picked to pieces by a destructive child.

    The serf-sweepers one again did their duty and one of them planted a cross of ice on the spot where the accident had occurred. As it melted, the Master of Ceremonies played a selection of religious records.

    Then everything went back to normal. And Chick, Lisa and Colin went round and round and round.

    Source: Froth on the Daydream, p. 23-24
  33. He emptied his bath by boring a hole in the bottom of the tub. The light yellow ceramic clay tiles of the bathroom floor sloped in such a way that the water was orientated into an orifice placed directly over the study of the tenant in the flat below. But only a few days previously, without saying a word to Colin, the position of the study had been changed. Now the water went straight into the larder underneath.

    Source: Froth on the Daydream, p. 9-10
  34. Himes's realization that his own social protest novels were themselves entangled in this equilibrium of falsehoods coincides with his abandonment of this form of writing. As he explains in My Life of Absurdity, his turn to a genre in which violence is neither the stuff of tragedy nor perpetually looming as the burden of an ironic fate was itself a protest against the protest novel. Himes writes: "i wanted to break through the barrier that labeled me as a 'protest writer.' I knew the life of an American black needed another image than just the victim of racism." The violence with which Himes populates his detective fiction thus represents a twofold adjustment: first, its multiplication of falsehood within a Harlem teeming with crime and deception gives free rein to the exploration of the "unconscious" desires of Himes's previous novels, which are given no opportunity to distinguish between different kinds of violence...Second, Himes's crime fiction abandons his earlier frustration with the ideological circuit of absurdity and instead embraces it to the extent that these conditions, though oppressive, nevertheless constitute the imaginative fabric of African American life and vernacular culture. Certainly in La Reine des pommes Himes embraces the jokes, dozens, and witticisms, he implicitly condemns in If He Hollers. This double adjustment constitutes Himes's rejection of both Wright's and Sartre's notions of engaged writing in favor of an indulgently disengaged dark humor; removing the responsibility for "real" political action from its presumed place immediately manifest within the text, this humor leaves the question of violent rebellion to simmer in the imagination.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 260-261
  35. Hitherto the marionettes had only laughed, or if they wept it had been with smiling grimaces and without the eloquence given by the tears now trickling down their cheeks and falling in streams on to the stage which had been the scene of so many cheerful farces.

    Don Benjamin thought that the painful element in the drama would make the children cry, and his surprise knew no bounds when he saw them laugh more heartily than before, with wide open mouths and happy expressions. The sight of tears made the children laugh. The sight of blows made the children laugh...However, the little puppet went on for a long time using the device with the syringe, and making the marionettes cry to amuse the children.

    Source: El Senor Presidente, p. 53-54
  36. Humor is not resigned; it is rebellious. It signifies the triumph not only of the ego but also of the pleasure principle. -- Freud

    Source: Dancin' in the Streets, p. 198
  37. Humor, which has long been neglected by many so-called revolutionaries in their attempts to prove to themselves that their intentions are together noble and serious (no doubt also because of the desolation and barrenness of their thinking), ought to be given the recognition it has long deserved and regain its rightful place in the revolutionary struggle.

    Source: Dancin' in the Streets, p. 198
  38. I took Peyote in the mountains of Mexico, and I had a dose of it that lasted me two or three days with the Tarahumara, and at the time those three days seemed like the happiest days of my life.

    I had stopped tormenting myself, trying to find a reason for my life, and I had stopped having to carry my body around.

    I realized that I was inventing life, that that was my function and my raison d'être, and that I suffered when my imagination failed, and Peyote gave it to me.

    A human being stepped forward and drew the Peyote out of me with a blow.

    I made it into real shreds, and the cadaver of a man was torn to shreds and found torn to shreds, somewhere.

    rai da kanka da kum
    a kum da na kum vönoh

    Granting that this world is not the reverse of the other and still less its half, this world is also a real machinery of which I have the controls, it is a true factory whose key is inborn humor.

    sana tafan tana
    tanaf tamafts bai

    Source: The Peyote Dance, p. 82-83
  39. In 'Lightning Rod' ('Paratonnerre', 1939), the Anthology's introductory essay, Breton coined the phrase 'black humour' to describe a complicated combination of Hegel's poetic 'objective humour' [Objektiverhumor] and Freud's ironic 'gallows humour' [Galgenhumor]; now, however, as William Solomon points out with some accuracy, the same phrase seems to have become merely a tired, generic label, fated to be kept in circulation by book and film reviewers.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 25
  40. In a discussion of social experience not represented by 'official' discourse -- a discourse that serves the interest of the dominant class -- Volosinov writes that: "The wider and deeper the breach between the official and the unofficial conscious, the more difficult it becomes for motives of inner speech to turn into outward speech...wherein they might acquire formulation, clarity and rigor. Motives under these conditions begin to fail, to lose their verbal countenance, and little by little really do turn into a 'foreign body' in the psyche." He argues that what official discourse ideologically prevents from objectification in speech -- structures of experience and feeling that he sees as sometimes collective and therefore proto-revolutionary, sometimes merely isolated and déclassé -- is necessarily incomprehensible in its immediacy. This breach between the 'sayable' and the 'unsayable' acts as a kind of social repression which, because it lacks 'verbal countenance', thus has the 'foreign' or alien quality of a social unconscious searching for expression.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 37
  41. In a sense, black humour thus sets out to expose the 'bad conscience' of a dominant discourse

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 39
  42. In black humour, the persistence of this uncomfortable 'other' at the boundary of our play of representations -- its refusal to become nothing -- is its defining feature and source of affect.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 39
  43. In its abandonment of protest fiction's epistemological and ethical certainty, Himes's writing for the Série Noire reveals a comic affectation consistent with the surrealist notion of l'humour noir, itself a critical intervention into the field of political writing that was hostile to literary and political naturalism. Indeed what Himes's crime writing shares with surrealist thinking of the post-World War II period is its affected indifference to truth and justice, its sympathy with the shared spirit of writers who expunge the expected characteristics of aesthetic or moral value. This helps to explain what Himes meant when he claimed that although he had "no literary relationship with what is called the Surrealist school," and that he "didn't become acquainted with that term until the fifties," nevertheless "it just so happens that in the lives of black people, there are so many absurd situations, made that way by racism, that black life could sometimes be described as surrealistic. The best expression of surrealism by black people, themselves, is probably achieved by blues musicians."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 247
  44. In its critical project, anti-Menckenist writing attempted to instigate "new principles" through which, as Cowley wrote in 1924, one might discover "that nonsense may be the strongest form of ridicule; that writing is often worst when it is most profound, saintly or devoted and best when it is approached in a spirit of play; that associational processes of thought often have more force than the logical; that defiance carried to the extremes of bravado is more to be admired than a passive mysticism" ("Communications" 140–41)

    Source: Anti-Menckenism: Nathanael West, Robert M. Coates, and the provisional avant-garde, p. 521
  45. In modern mythology, no one is more exemplary of this world-historical becoming of the new humor than the inexorably disorienting dialectician, Bugs Bunny. In the activity of this perennial pilferer of carrots from Fudd's garden, what Hegel called humor's "conscious disintegration" of existing social relations attains a subversive excess that can only be described as absolutely enticing. If there can be said to be a model for the next revolutionaries, it would be difficult to think of a better one than the World's Greatest Rabbit.

    As an inscription in a surrealist publication I received from abroad some years ago put it: "Bugs Bunny world? Bugs Bunny life? These two commands are for us but one."

    Until further notice, the watchword of the next revolution remains: "What's up, Doc?"

    From chapter: Humor: Here Today & Everywhere Tomorrow, Franklin Rosemont
    Source: Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion, p. 84
  46. In our dream, revolution was a joyful jubilee.

    Source: Dancin' in the Streets, p. 40
  47. In some respects the Anti-Poetry Club could be considered the last bow of Maywood Rhapsodism, but it was also the nucleus from which the Rebel Worker group soon emerged. The Club was a souped-up Chicago-style mix of surrealism, Bugs Bunny, the Marx Brothers, Ernie Kovacs, Stan Freberg, and Bob Kaufman's Abomunism, but so heavily spiced with our own humor and revolt that it had a distinctive "flavor" all its own...

    After a few meetings, however, it was clear that the Club had nowhere to go--that every meeting would be the same, that the Anti-Poetry Club was getting to be as boring as the Poetry Club...Several of us circulated a statement dissociating ourselves from those who had turned the Club into a repetitious farce devoid of even the slightest subversive quality.

    Source: Dancin' in the Streets, p. 16
  48. It was always there and MacCruiskeen is certain that it was there even before that.

    Source: The Third Policeman, p. 107
  49. Maia didn't appear to be too upset by the objection and shrugged us off. "I mean the opposite of the eye of the storm or the minister who thunders. For example, Venice is the Amsterdam of the South, sometimes imagination exceeds reality, given that I'm a racist, hard drugs are the first step towards smoking joints, don't make yourself at home, let's stand on ceremony, those who pursue pleasure are always happy, I may be senile but I'm not old, Greek is all maths to me, success has gone to my head, Mussolini did a lot of bad after all, Paris is horrid though Parisians are nice, in Rimini everyone stays on the beach and never sets foot in the clubs."

    "Yes, and a whole mushroom was poisoned by one family. Where do you get all this tripe?" asked Braggadocio.

    Source: Numero Zero, p. 110-111
  50. Many of the critics noted above, however, see black humour as a mode via which to prioritize an essential self. Ray and Winston's interpretations of Breton's humour as a variety of Romantic irony illustrate this approach. Black humour, for them, contrives a detached, mocking presentation of the absurdities of the world as well as the self within it, a self superseded by its humorous counterpart. Their analysis reflects the saturnine spirit of Breton and many of his contributors but, at the same time, confines black humour to a narrow subjectivism...These writers lean towards a Freudian rather than Hegelian reading of Breton's schema.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 30
  51. Meanwhile, in February 1974, DEA Agent Anthony Triponi, a former captain in the army Special Forces and a Phoenix program veteran, was admitted to a hospital in New York "suffering from hypertension." DEA inspectors found Triponi in the psychiatric ward, distraught because he had broken his "cover" and now his "special code" would have to be changed.

    Thinking he was insane, the DEA inspectors called former chief inspector Patrick Fuller in California, just to be sure. As it turned out, Triponi was an active member of Operation Twofold and everything he said was true! The incredulous DEA inspectors called the CIA and were stunned when they were told: "If you release the story, we will destroy you.:

    Source: The CIA as Organized Crime, p. 196
  52. More forcefully, as Susan Buck-Morss ably demonstrates in her study of Benjamin's Arcades Project, Aragon's oneiric, submarine Arcades work can be seen as more than just fantasy: it is, rather, a specific representation of the intoxicating thrall of technicized modernity as itself a myth-like, 'unconscious' state. The presentation in Paris Peasant of, for example, petrol pumps as strange, alien gods -- 'nymphs in naphtha' -- is ideology critique as comedy.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 32
  53. Neither funny nor especially comic in the generic sense, black humor (l'humour noir) describes the quality of indifference with which certain writers portray acts of injustice, destruction, and evil in their works. this indifference, Breton suggests, is social as well as aesthetic or analytical; it yields a means of perception undistorted by morality or law, and it thus offers, too, a form of intellectual commerce Breton describes as "the mysterious exchange of humorous pleasure between individuals." This pleasure was not necessarily joyful. Indeed in both its prewar and postwar historical contexts, black humor paraded a degree of stylistically and moral recklessness -- a jouissance -- at odds with an era of serious political commitment; yet this exchange of humorous pleasure paradoxically gave voice to unconscious political desires, including forms of anger and unrest otherwise inadmissible to intellectual discourse.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 244
  54. Of all conceivable luxuries, death, in its fatal and inexorable form, is undoubtedly the most costly.

    Source: The Accursed Share, p. 34
  55. Post-colonialism, ethnicity, sexuality and cultural studies are not, of course, innocent of theory. nor do they simply date from its decline. It is rather that they have emerged in full force in the wake of 'pure' or 'high' theory, which for the most part they have put behind them. Not only put behind them, indeed, but served to displace. In some ways, this is an evolution to be welcomed. Various forms of theoreticism (though not of obscurantism) have been cast aside. What has taken place by and large is a shift from discourse to culture -- from ideas in a somewhat abstract or virginal state, to an investigation of what in the 1970s and '80s one would have been rash to call the real world. As usual, however, there are losses as well as gains. Analysing vampires or Family Guy is probably not as intellectually rewarding as the study of Freud and Foucault.

    Source: The Event of Literature, p. ix-x
  56. Rarely was Benjamin able to wean himself from his infatuation with melancholia -- no easy task for a soul so firmly wedded to the redemptive promise of a past whose quintessential feature lay in its premonition of catastrophe. Surrealism did, however, evoke in him an appreciation for the ways by which laughter could crack open the world, exposing the raw nerve-endings of the politicized imagician's zone of struggle -- where "the long-sought image sphere is opened...the sphere, in a word, in which political materialism and physical nature share the inner man." For if surrealism tried to change that sorcery-bundle of mythical representations on which Western culture is based, and did so using images that levered wide contradictions opening the doorway to the marvelous, its own representing had to be both iconic and ironic -- bringing to mind not only Freud's analysis of the unconscious imagery mined and subverted by jokes, but also Mikhail Bakhtin's and Georges Bataille's fascination with anarchist poetics blending the grotesque and the humorous in carnival-like upheavals of degradation and renewal.

    And here I think the Latin American "magical realism" of the novelists and their critics fares poorly. There is truth in Carpentier's claim that the Europeans were forcing open the door to the marvelous in their own society with brutish despair, whereas in the colonies those doors stood ajar if not fully open. But neither in his work nor in that of Arguedas, Asturias, or Garcia Marquez, is, to my mind, the force of laughter and anarchy punctuating the misty realm of the marvelous to be heard. Too often the wonder that sustains their stories is represented in accord with a long-standing tradition of folklore, the exotic, and indigenismo that in oscillating between the cute and the romantic is little more than the standard ruling class appropriation of what is held to be the sensual vitality of the common people and their fantasy life. Yet to the surrealists, precisely because of the acute self-consciousness that went hand in hand with the aforementioned "brutish despair," there lay engraved as axiomatic the wonder and irritation expressed by the nose specialist in Berlin, Wilhelm Fliess, who, upon reading the page proofs of his good friend Dr. Freud's Interpretation of Dreams in the autumn of 1899, complained that the dreams were too full of jokes.

    Source: Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, p. 201-202
  57. Reflection upon the distillation of shock-value from habitus, then, lends an understanding of how a palliative cultural discourse is in fact discontinuous, a strategy of ideological containment. Aesthetic shock pries open the illusion of private experience, rendering it public and understandable.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 34
  58. She heard him pacing around his office. Unearthly siren-sounds converged on them from all over the night. 'There is a face,' Hilarius said, 'that I can make. One you haven't seen; no one in this country has. I have only made it once in my life, and perhaps today in central Europe there still lives, in whatever vegetable ruin, the young man who saw it. He would be, now, about your age. Hopelessly insane. His name was Zvi. Will you tell the "police", or whatever they are calling themselves tonight, that I can make that face again? That it has an effective radius of a hundred yards and drives anyone unlucky enough to see it down forever into the darkened oubliette among the terrible shapes, and secures the hatch irrevocably above them? Thank you.'

    Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 103
  59. So beneath the proscenium arch of black humour lies, then, a desacralized space populated by characters who exemplify a 'truth' of cultural Enlightenment unsupported by its ideological myths.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 36
  60. Still, writers are not terribly reliable as witnesses for either the defense or the prosecution. They are also not to be relied upon as lovers. They lack patience. They seem to have a certain difficulty in taking pleasure from what they are doing. Like chess players, they are inwardly preparing themselves for the inevitable end game.

    Source: How German Is It, p. 28
  61. Surrealism began historically by appropriating all the advantages of madness -- that is, of the Mind functioning outside the confines of reified Reason -- while avoiding its disadvantages. It was not without humor that the prerogatives of the hysteric, the paranoiac, the schizophrenic became the prerogatives of surrealists. Precisely because they have not been mad, surrealists have been able to use madness creatively, or rather dialectally, in the service of Revolution. Had madness not come to the rescue, moreover, Reason would not have been reborn.

    From chapter: Humor: Here Today & Everywhere Tomorrow, Franklin Rosemont
    Source: Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion, p. 83
  62. Sydney had got a book about pessimism on a shelf in his study, written by a Mr. James Sully; and Maimie had read a page or so out of the middle one other gloomy afternoon, and thought it all very nice and melancholy and dispiriting, and extremely demonstrative of the pleasant conclusion that the universe at large is one huge gigantic blunder. Such a clever word, pessimism! Maimie was quite proud of herself for being able to pronounce it, and to use it correctly in conversation without stumbling over it.

    It's some consolation on a muggy day to feel that you know what pessimism means!

    Source: For Maimie's Sake: A Tale of Love and Dynamite, p. 137
  63. The advocates of military action were not required to demonstrate that 9/11 was the opening of a new kind of conflict, rather than an old-style terrorist act on a larger scale. The idea that terrorist organizations could be located and destroyed in the manner of conventional targets was hardly subjected to any public dispute at the outset. (Rare objections came from the distinguished military historian Sir Michael Howard, who urged more painstaking, less cathartic methods, and the former Monty Python star Terry Jones, who first raised the question whether it was possible to make war on an abstract noun.)

    Source: Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction, p. 122-123
  64. The competition was now in full flow, and Fresia intervened once more. 'Why are aspirins different from iguanas? Because have you tried swallowing an iguana?'

    "That's enough," said Simei. "This is schoolboy stuff. Don't forget, our readers aren't intellectuals. They haven't read about the surrealists, who used to make exquisite corpses, as they called them. Our readers would take it all seriously and think we were mad. Come on, we're fooling around, we have work to do."

    Source: Numero Zero, p. 72-73
  65. The eating of one species by another is the simplest form of luxury.

    Source: The Accursed Share, p. 33
  66. The overwhelming superiority of a humorous, irrational, eros-affirmative approach over sober, moralistic and/or rational argument should be plain from everyday experience. People who consciously respect the police, admire their employer, and revere the church fathers nonetheless will laugh heartily at film comedies, songs and comic strips that sadistically ridicule cops, bosses and preachers. The "comic situation" allows the unconscious truth to erupt in to consciousness in a spontaneously liberating way. To translate this laughter into revolutionary action may not always be easy, but it provides an indispensable point of departure that rational argument does not.

    Surrealism intervenes precisely at that point. Our task, to paraphrase Marx, is to create the comic situation that makes all turning back impossible.

    From chapter: Humor: Here Today & Everywhere Tomorrow, Franklin Rosemont
    Source: Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion, p. 83
  67. The psychoanalytic terms which permeate Breton's thought (although not without his own explicit reservations) and the often grotesque images from the texts themselves become, as I will show, signifiers summoning a more material scene. To this end, I suggest that Breton's particular synthesis of Freud and Hegel does not mark off an entirely psychic space for black humour. Instead, he takes seriously the Hegelian notion that art objectifies and sublates as aesthetic form a subjective idea or feeling of something real, rendering the latter socially objective, visible and tangible. Through the reflexivity of art, a phenomenon acquires its claim to collective understanding and relevance.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 33
  68. The publication of La Reine des pommes in 1958 as an original French novel represents an incarnation of surrealist humour noir insofar as it establishes a continuity between surrealist thinking about language, violence, and revolt, and hard-boiled fiction's stylized abstraction of political and racial experience in the United States. Taking part in a refusal of social realism's presumption of clear vision and a stoic subject, to which Breton's Anthology likewise alludes, Himes's novels seek access to the political and the real only by means of the "dissonant, discordant, always jarring" affect of the noir aesthetic.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 248
  69. The silence in the room was so unusually quiet that the beginning of it seemed rather loud when the utter stillness of the end of it had been encountered.

    Source: The Third Policeman, p. 91-92
  70. The textual incidents related certainly show a hardening of the heart and the 'punctual' meanings they imply seem as close to misanthropy, class hatred and misogyny as they do to an avant-garde breaking of bourgeois taboos. From this point of view, black humour can appear as conservative as any joke that requires a victim. To transgress social mores in the name of an ironic scepticism about their value can equally serve to obfuscate some deeper ideological animus. Yet unrepressed pleasure in social violence, I will argue, is only a preliminary part of the gesture this humour performs. To modify our perception, at least for now, of its simple brutality or prejudice, we might ask whether each work interpellates its reader as textual aggressor, victim or as 'agonised witness', in Breton's phrase from Nadja.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 27
  71. The very concept of black humour, then, underlines the role of Surrealism as a reflective activity that regards critique as an essential component of creativity.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 40
  72. Their 'cruelties', though, are by no means motivated by hostility towards others; they allude, at least in part, to notions of the duality of body and mind: the struggle between matter and abstract ideality.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 28
  73. Then what is up the lane?

    I cannot say. If he said that eternity was up the lane and left it at that, I would not kick so hard. But when we are told that we are coming back from there in a lift -- well, I, begin to think that he is confusing night-clubs with heaven. A lift!

    Surely, I argued, if we concede that eternity is up the lane, the question of the lift is a minor matter. That is a case for swallowing a horse and cart and straining at a flea.

    No. I bar the lift.

    Source: The Third Policeman, p. 109
  74. This anarchistic anti-campaign, typically ignored by the many historians of the Beat movement, was a scathing satire of Establishment politics and an assertion of the rising new radicalism's sweeping rejection of the entire military-industrial-political swindle.

    Source: Dancin' in the Streets, p. 13
  75. This idea, I argue, provides a model for black humour which uses Hegel's 'objective humour' to perform a dialectical turn on Freud's notion of the individual unconscious as the source of laughter. Black humour thus becomes the articulation of a kind of 'social unconscious', at its kernel the detection and amplification, through aesthetic form and language, of displaced but agonistic social and historical contradictions.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 26
  76. What distinguished the Rebel Worker group from all the other groups that claimed to be against capitalism? What made us so different? The answers are obvious: humor, poetry, and breadth of vision -- which are a large part of what make a revolution revolutionary. Our critique focused not only on Capital, work and the workplace, but also and above all on everyday life. Our aim, as our Philadelphia correspondent Judy Kaplan put it, was "to be revolutionary in everything."

    Source: Dancin' in the Streets, p. 38
  77. What Himes refers to as his own version of surrealism, a vernacular surrealism allied with the blues, thus has less to do with the formal descriptions of surrealist practices found in Breton's manifestoes than with the political legacy of the group in the postwar public domain. This legacy, especially in its infiltration within the "philosophy" of Duhamel's Série Noire, lingered as an insistence on the conflicts and even falsehoods of language, the resistance of writing and its motives to an immediate political use-value...Like Cahun's ideas about surrealist poetry, Himes's black humor contradicts the existentialist faith in African American vernacular forms as means of expression alone, suggesting instead that they "guard their secrets" in order that their political anger, their unconscious, subterranean cachet of revolutionary knowledge and desire, remain open. So too, I contend, does there remain an openness within surrealist discourse more broadly; no longer limited to the active movement, this discourse was distributed throughout postwar intellectual life, and throughout the world, as an intransigent form of political expression as much attuned to the "mysterious exchange of humorous pleasure" as to the objective recognition of social injustice.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 265
  78. What seems alien here is also that which is best known; black humour points up a foreignness not on the peripheries of social discourse but right at its 'official' centre. Indeed, the two are intimately related. In order to render obvious the alien nature of this centre, then, such humour must establish an appropriate speaking or writing voice at that centre that is subsequently and ironically split or put under tension to release its hidden content.

    Source: The Persistence of Irony: Interfering with Surrealist Black Humour, p. 37-38
  79. Whereas many artists and writers of the postwar surrealist group turned their attention toward ethnography and hermeticism in their investigation of alternative social myths, many of the critics, intellectuals, and popular writers who responded to surrealism centered their attention on the poetics of black humor. For Breton -- and, as we will see, for other figures of the postwar era who might also be considered "black humorists," principally Chester Himes, Marcel Duhamel, and Leo Malet -- the concept was far from an aesthetic or literary-historical category alone. Rather, black humor formed a significant part of postwar French intellectual discourse surrounding the question of writing as a political and ethical practice.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 245
  80. While one of the serf-sweepers was cleaning up the scattered fragments, Colin noticed Chick and Lisa who had just arrived on the other side of the rink. He waved to them, but as they did not see him he set off to meet them without taking the gyrator movement of the rink into account. The result was the rapid formation of a tremendous heap of people rushing to complain. Every second they were joined by a vast agglomeration of others, desperately beating their arms, their legs, their shoulders and their whole bodies in the air before collapsing on to the pile of the first fallen. As the sun had melted the surface of the ice, there was a horrible squelch under the heap of bodies.

    In no time at all ninety per cent of the skaters were on the heap...

    Source: Froth on the Daydream, p. 21-22
  81. Yet you do not have to be a former papist or ex-Oxbridge don to appreciate the oddness of a situation in which teachers and students of literature habitually use words like literature, fiction, poetry, narrative and so on without being at all well equipped to embark on a discussion of what they mean. Literary theorists are those who find this as strange, if not quite as alarming, as encountering medics who can recognise a pancreas when they see one but would be incapable of explaining its functioning.

    Source: The Event of Literature, p. xi-xii
  82. [A]fter ten years of seeing Europe crushed under the boots of fascist murderers and their self-serving political collaborators, the time had come for an even more revolutionary flavor of liberation that had exceeded the fantasies of Marx and Engels -- there was a need for a set of ideas that would totally reorder the very fabric of the universe in the service of freedom, and the Surrealists saw this as the best reason for a renaissance of Romantic socialism and Fourierist poetics. In a postwar political climate dominated by the viciously cynical Jesuit device of 'ends justify means', talk of Fourier introduced two things that were sorely lacking: a blackly humorous critical (and therefore revolutionary) spark and an unwavering dedication to the complete emancipation of human beings. 'Action, even in the rigorous and unquestioned form it takes today for those who fight in the name of liberty, will only be valuable so long as our interpretation of the world...will not have the brakes slammed on it', Breton thundered. The revolutionary poetry of Fourier's socialism was exactly the kind of critical extravagance that a truly free and freedom-respecting society should be able to tolerate and welcome.

    From chapter: Attacks of the Fantastic, Donald LaCoss
    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 279-280
  83. [Fourier's] Theory of the Four Movements offers detailed accounts of life following this cataclysmic transmogrification. The auroras of the northern and southern circumpolar regions become more active and more frequent, eventually expanding to link together like the rings of Saturn and filling the earth's skies with rippling curtains of colour, light and heat. Over time, the outer edge of the earth's aurora-ring will extend to the corona of the sun, and the ensuing radiation will trigger a magical change in the natural world -- animals will learn to play musical instruments, stars will copulate and spray us all with their sexual fluids, weather patterns will shift, new moons begin to revolve the earth, and the chemical composition of the world's oceans change to 'aigresel', a tart, potable liquid. Even the human body mutates under the rays of the 'northern crown' as human beings overcome the need for sleep and grow taller. Humans will also sprout an 'archibras' ('ancient arm'), a prehensile tail with a sensory organ at its tip that will act as a fifth limb and enable one 'to swim as fast as a fish', to 'reach a branch twelve feet high', to triple one's natural leaping velocity, and to form a revolving, conelike 'inverted parachute by means of which one can fall from a considerable height without risking more than a bruise'.

    From chapter: Attacks of the Fantastic, Donald LaCoss
    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 274-275
  84. [Himes's] method, rather than subsuming its political anger and desire within a singular narrative consciousness, a single "private eye," instead multiplies the inconsistencies of vernacular speech and the confusing vicissitudes of American absurdity. Much like Walter Benjamin's notion of how surrealist photography achieves a "salutary estrangement between man and his surroundings," Himes's absurdist universe blinds the "private" eye in order to give instead "free play to the politically educated eye, under whose gaze all intimacies are sacrificed to the illumination of detail."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 264-265
  85. [Mr Scogan speaking:] "If you want to get men to act reasonably, you must set about persuading them in a maniacal manner. The very sane precepts of the founders of religions are only made infectious by means of enthusiasms which to a sane man must appear deplorable. It is humiliating to find how impotent unadulterated sanity is. Sanity, for example, informs us that the only way in which we can preserve civilization is by behaving decently and intelligently. Sanity appeals and argues; our rulers persevere in their customary porkishness, while we acquiesce and obey. The only hope is a maniacal crusade; I am ready, when it comes, to beat a tambourine with the loudest, but at the same time I shall feel a little ashamed of myself."

    Source: Crome Yellow, p. 123
  86. [O]ne of the most significant events in the history [former Surrealist Marcel] Duhamel's Série Noire [was] the publication in 1958 of the first "original" novel commissioned specifically for the series, a crime thriller by the expatriate African American novelist Chester Himes, titled La Reine des pommes (or The Five-Cornered Square) [aka Rage in Harlem]. Independently of any formal affiliation with the movement, Himes's foray into crime fiction achieves what might be called a vernacular surrealism, one that registers the effects of his commerce with Duhamel, insofar as Duhamel established a large part of the material and formal conditions of Himes's transformation into a crime writer. This vernacular surrealism is one of the legacies of the movement's interest in crime, significant less for its popularity than for its implicit response to intellectual conditions in France after the Second World War...

    In La Reine des pommes, Himes breaks with the instrumental use of language that characterized both Wright's and, in France, Jean-Paul Sartre's notions of "engaged writing." In its place he develops a violently comic fictional universe to which he later referred in terms of absurdity. Extending linguistic slippage and excess to the level of narrative itself, Himes's crime writing flies doubly in the face of social realism and existentialism by embracing absurdity as both a social condition and a narrative apparatus. At the same time, Himes always stressed that this humor was not a formal invention but something borrowed. That is, what he called "absurdity" was, in the lived experience of black Americans in Harlem, also emphatically real.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 246
  87. [T]he new humor -- humor that tends to be activist, anonymous, collective, often black, illegal and above all objective -- ...need not be "funny," in the usual sense of the word. Poetry can exist and even flourish without poems, and humor can get along very well without chuckles and guffaws. "I do not know how to laugh, said Lautréamont, the new humor's most decisive forerunner.

    From chapter: Humor: Here Today & Everywhere Tomorrow, Franklin Rosemont
    Source: Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion, p. 84