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There were 74 results from your search for keyword(s): 'Everyday Life'.
- "I Zimbra"'s origin encodes Fear of Music's motifs in one other sense: the Dada movement itself was a response to "life during wartime." The european aftermath of the Great War seemed to dwarf all attempts at humane commemoration or remorse; trench warfare and mustard gas and shellshock were the language Hugo Ball and his fellow Dadaists sought to overwrite with their avant-gibberish.
Source: Fear of Music, p. 9
- "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
- "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
- "Must we always wait centuries, and always know we waited, and needn't have waited, and that it all took so long and was so dreadful?"
Source: All Hallows' Eve, p. 104
- "The trouble is that when they have taken Peyote, they no longer obey us."
"It is the same with Peyote as it is with everything human. It is a marvelous magnetic and alchemical principle, provided one knows how to take it -- that is to say, in the proper doses and according to the proper gradations. And above all, provided one does not take it at the wrong time or in the wrong place. If after taking Peyote the Indians seem to go mad, it is because they are abusing it in order to reach that point of disorderly intoxication in which the soul is no longer subject to anything. In so doing, it is not you whom they are disobeying but Ciguri itself, for Ciguri is the God of the Prescience of the just, of equilibrium and of self-control. He who has truly imbibed Ciguri, the true meter and measure of Ciguri, MAN and not indeterminate PHANTOM, knows how things are made and he can no longer lose his reason, because it is God who is in his nerves and who guides them.
Source: The Peyote Dance, p. 28
- "They stink, you just can't smell it anymore."...Things became quite awkward when she began to sniff at people and wrinkle her nose, saying laconically: "Stinks" or "Doesn't stink," and it was quite clear that she didn't only mean this morally, toward the end she spoke openly of a "stinking German cleanliness." He had to let her go...
Source: The Safety Net, p. 256
- "Yes, I do, I want to go on with you -- yet they're probably already practicing strongholds, looking into hypnosis, drugs, perhaps with drugs they'll persuade a security officer to 'grab me.' He will be a nice, well-drilled, thoroughly healthy, thoroughly vetted young policeman who will suddenly throw himself upon me with an apparently protective gesture that conceals the murderous grip. There is no security -- computers, rockets, rocketlike artificial birds, psychomanipulations, remote psychoterrorism -- so we might as well resign ourselves to the loneliness of extreme, luxurious imprisonment.
Source: The Safety Net, p. 124
- "You have been treasonously consorting with the enemy," he says.
So it is out. "Treasonously consorting": a phrase out of a book.
"We are at peace here," I say, "we have no enemies." There is silence. "Unless I make a mistake," I say. "Unless we are the enemy."
Source: Waiting for the Barbarians, p. 77
- "You're forgetting, my love, that Italy is slowly turning into one of those havens you want to banish yourself to. If we've managed to both accept and forget all those things the BBC has recounted, it means we are getting used to the idea of losing the sense of shame."
Source: Numero Zero, p. 249
- 'Being realistic' may once have meant coming to terms with a reality experienced as solid and immovable. Capitalist realism, however, entails subordinating oneself to a reality that is infinitely plastic, capable of reconfiguring itself at any moment. We are confronted with what Jameson, in his essay 'The Antinomies of the Postmodern', calls 'a purely fungible present in which space and psyches alike can be processed and remade at will'...How could it ever be possible for us to believe successive or even co-extensive stories that so obviously contradict one another? Yet we know from Kant, Nietzsche and psychoanalysis that waking, as much as dreaming, experience, depends upon just such screening narratives. If the Real is unbearable, any reality we construct must be a tissue of inconsistencies. What differentiates Kant, Nietzsche and Freud from the tiresome cliché that 'life is but a dream' is the sense that the confabulations we live are consensual. The idea that the world we experience is a solipsistic delusion projected from the interior of our mind consoles rather than disturbs us, since it conforms with our infantile fantasies of omnipotence; but the thought that our so-called interiority owes its existence to a fictionalized consensus will always carry an uncanny charge.
Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 54-56
- '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
- 'It was a joke -- for the benefit of my brother-in-law who came to visit me. I brought some baby clothes and put them out on the line. He obviously thought i had a girl living with me. I only put them out a few times after that. I told my brother-in-law that I did it to keep women from bothering me with offers of domestic care. As they do. They would assume, you see, that there was a woman. I suppose I'm an eccentric. It was a gesture.'
'Well, you might say,' said Harvey, thinking fast how to say it, 'that it was a surrealistic gesture.'
Source: The Only Problem, p. 395
- '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
- 'Switzerland is the only nation where the citizens are both prisoners and their own prison guards,' wrote Switzerland’s only Nobel Prize author, Max Frisch.
Source: Vulture's Picnic, p. 99
- 'You know what a miracle is. Not what Bakunin said. But another world's intrusion into this one. Most of the time we coexist peacefully, but when we do touch there's cataclysm.'
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 91
- How German Is It is certainly not a terrorist attack. What it does do is present an effective engagement with issues of postmodernism, history, and culture that are implicated in terrorism's impact. As Sadie Plant has argued, the postmodern writings of Baudrillard and Lyotard in particular are 'underwritten by situationist theory and the social and cultural agitations in which it is placed'. Moreover, Baudrillard, Lyotard, and Jameson all invoke terrorism when characterizing dominant tendencies of contemporary culture.
Source: Terrorism and Modern Literature, p. 233
- 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
- Apart from the official framing of news, the US entertainment industry too plays an important role in shaping global perceptions about terrorism. The Hollywood-dominated 'Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network' has a major contribution in making the 'war on terror' an entertainment genre (Der Derian, 2009). As Shaheen has argued, the representation of Islam, and especially of Arabs, in most Hollywood films is deeply problematic in terms of racist stereotypes which contribute to a discourse where Muslims are projected as a threat to Western ways of life (Shaheen, 2008...). Terrorism is also the prime subject of several popular American television series like 24, The Unit and Sleeper Cell, which are all examples of intersections between popular entertainment and politics (Kellner, 2009)...This 'militainment' has redefined terrorism as an object of consumer play, deployed by the Pentagon in association with the gaming industry.
From chapter: Introduction
Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 13
- Breton...writes: "The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd. Anyone who, at least once in his life, has not dreamed of thus putting an end to the petty system of debasement and cretinization in effect has a well-defined place in that crowd, with his belly at barrel level." Interpretations of these lines from the Second Manifesto have fueled attacks against surrealism in general, most notably Jean-Paul Sartre's charge that the movement, like Breton's statement, represented a feeble attempt to organize "revolution" around the inner dictates of the individual -- a vulgar and politically bankrupt fusion of Leninist and Freudian rhetoric. Yet Breton is not invoking the "inner dictates of the individual," nor is he simply mobilizing this act of terror as a rhetorical flourish. He means it literally, but stresses that "my intention is not to recommend it above every other because it is simple, and to try and pick a quarrel with me on this point is tantamount to asking, in bourgeois fashion, any nonconformist why he doesn't commit suicide, or any revolutionary why he doesn't pack up and go live in the USSR." Surrealism's struggle lay in reconciling its radical break from the "ideology of continuity" with its awareness that even radicalism tends toward the continuous and the familiar whenever it expresses itself in forms, such as gunshots, that are merely extensions of preexisting violence...
The group's analyses and debates about the status of violence in the modern world extended to the very question of using revolutionary violence as a political strategy. To what extent could political violence ever be distinguished from crime? How did anti colonial violence differ from terrorism, from ethnic cleansing, or from colonial wars of invasion? Such questions, central to the activities of the surrealist group throughout the movement's history, show the surrealists' dedication to a public intellectualism that confronted the most fundamental principles of revolution and avant-gardism.
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 7
- But now as they decelerate down the last stretch of Route 27, she can only feel the narrowing of options -- it's all converging here, all Long Island, the defense factories, the homicidal traffic, the history of Republican sin forever unremitted, the relentless suburbanizing, miles of mowed yards, contractor hardpan, beaverboard and asphalt shingling, treeless acres, all concentrating, all collapsing, into this terminal toehold before the long Atlantic wilderness.
Source: Bleeding Edge, p. 191
- But the Public Broadcast System takes our tax money. It owes us something, no? If we can't get the real story about Big Oil, at least we deserve an apology.
I was waiting for the PBS Frontline reporter to say, 'BP has kept the truth locked in its files for years – and so have we at PBS AND WE ARE ASHAMED. Send us back your Ken Burns DVDs for a refund.'
But no, they didn't apologize; they asked for more money! And we will send it, leveraging Chevron's and ExxonMobil's payola. As P. T. Barnum once said, there's a PBS donor born every minute.
Source: Vulture's Picnic, p. 203-204
- But the reduction of "that which is" to the order of things is not limited to slavery. Slavery is abolished, but we ourselves our aware of the aspects of social life in which man is relegated to the level of things, and we should know that this relegation did not await slavery. From the start, the introduction of labor into the world replaced intimacy, the depth of desire and its free outbreaks, with rational progression, where what matters is no longer the truth of the present moment, but, rather, the subsequent results of operations. The first labor established the world of things, to which the profane world of the Ancients generally corresponds. Once the world of things was posited, man himself became one of the things of this world, at least for the time in which he labored. It is this degradation that man has always tried to escape. In his strange myths, in his cruel rites, man is in search of a lost intimacy from the first.
Religion is this long effort and this anguished quest: It is always a matter of detaching from the real order, from the poverty of things, and of restoring the divine order.
Source: The Accursed Share, p. 57
- But while the trivial pleasures of culture have their place as a relief from the trivial worries of practical life, the more important merits of contemplation are in relation to the greater evils of life, death and pain and cruelty, and the blind march of nations into unnecessary disaster. For those to whom dogmatic religion can no longer bring comfort, there is need of some substitute, if life is not to become dusty and harsh and filled with trivial self-assertion. The world at present is full of angry self-centred groups, each incapable of viewing human life as a whole, each willing to destroy civilisation rather than yield an inch. To this narrowness no amount of technical instruction will provide an antidote. The antidote, in so far as it is a matter of individual psychology, is to be found in history, biology, astronomy, and all those studies which, without destroying self-respect, enable the individual to see himself in his proper perspective. What is needed is not this or that specific piece of information, but such knowledge as inspires a conception of the ends of human life as a whole: art and history, acquaintance with the lives of heroic individuals, and some understanding of the strangely accidental and ephemeral position of man in the cosmos -- all this touched with an emotion of pride in what is distinctively human, the power to see and to know, to feel magnanimously and to think with understanding. It is from large perceptions combined with impersonal emotion that wisdom most readily springs.
From chapter: 'Useless' Knowledge
Source: In Praise of Idleness, p. 26-27
- Carrington posits the subject's capacity for experience of the outer world as a precondition for the propagation of history. The body and mind are not merely cogs in a machine of history but the site at which history itself unfolds. By linking her loss of control over her mind and body with a loss of control over the master narrative of history, Carrington radically undoes the notion that history functions independently of its subjects. The body itself is the locus through which history manifests itself as a narrative, not merely as a useful fiction for maintaining the coherence of the subject, but as a site where temporality itself is reflected. Unlike Breton, who saw the experience of the marvelous as releasing the subject from the grip of history and society, Carrington's Surrealist experience shifts history to the foreground. Through her emphasis on the body, Carrington makes a claim for the subject in an aesthetic experience that registers history and subverts the notion that she is a unified subject in control of either her body or history.
Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 101
- Crevel's "scandalous" tales [i.e., his explicit mediumistic outpourings] were suppressed, I argue, because they confronted the proto-surrealists with their own reluctance to address the ethical implications of their newly developed practices...Even after his reconciliation with the surrealists in late 1924, Crevel would remain critical of "automatism" and automatic writing, as well as, more tacitly, the movement's Desnosian predilection [i.e., quasi-mystical posing]. For Crevel this was no jealous retribution but a serious accusation that revealed his commitment to understanding avant-garde experimentation as an extension of lived experience, of politics, and of intellectual practice.
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 62,63
- During a conversation published in the early spring of 1948, the interviewer, Aimé Patri, spurred Breton to respond to some of these charges. 'Since your return from the United States, a number of people have been claiming that Surrealism is dead,', Patri proposed. 'Even some of your intimates have reproached you for abandoning the old Surrealist revolutionary spirit'. Of particular confusion in this regard was the Surrealist insistence upon the 'poetic and historical function' of mythic and utopian thinking, investigations that seemed to 'entail an escape towards the past or outside of time' and an obvious affront to the doctrine of historical materialism that the French Stalinists proclaimed that they were exercising. Breton responded by saying that his exposure to the daily functions of myth among the Hopi and the Haitians convinced him that the 'latent' content of waking life could be mobilized s a means of cultural resistance under adverse political and economic conditions.
From chapter: Attacks of the Fantastic, Donald LaCoss
Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 268
- During the course of the group's relationship with Minotaure, the surrealists shifted their efforts from theorizing the validity of revolutionary violence to finding strategies for deriving paranoiac knowledge. The surrealists, in other words, strove to create an atmosphere that did not so much constitute "revolution" as it was conducive to the knowledge represented obliquely in Nouge and Magritte's drawing: the means -- moral as well as material -- are at hand. By calling surrealism's period of political and epistemological reassessment both a noir period and a period of negation, I have argued, first, that the group's poetic and political aims in 1933 were not limited to revealing irrational forces at work within exterior reality. Rather, the surrealists studied how such forces were organized as coherent structures of motive, causality, and perception in a way that revealed their contiguity with existing structures of political and ideological logic. Second, I maintain that this noir period enabled rather than performed the group's political work. The theoretical experiments of this era provided the basis for a new "morality of revolt" that advocated a massive collective restructuring of society on diverse fronts -- from mental institutions to literature to family structure to political parties -- instead of the merely destructive violence of Aragon's "Red Front."
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 197
- During the first weeks following the Flight 800's demise, there was a great deal of coverage about evidence of a high-pressure explosive force - either a bomb or a missile - causing the jet to blow up. Indeed, the coverage was going in the same direction as the FBI...But by September, the press was turning around to the new government line, no questions asked...
What's fascinating about this is how the same paper first prints a series of reports talking about hard evidence the investigators have uncovered indicating that a mechanical failure was unlikely - like "traces of explosives in the passenger cabin," "very heavy damage to the landing gear," and "portions of the fuel tank wreckage" being "virtually unscathed" - and then turns around and writes a subsequent story that says, "The investigators acknowledge that they have no evidence pointing to a mechanical malfunction. Rather, they say, the failure to find proof of a bombing, after more than two months, lends indirect credence to another theory . . ." Indirect credence to another theory!? What happened to the traces of explosives, etc., that you reported about earlier?
And that's another huge problem for you, the average citizen seeking good information from your newspaper or TV news broadcast. You probably didn't realize until you read this just how mutable the truth is. You probably didn't know that often what is reported today is the truth, until official sources change it later on. The new truth can be the exact opposite of what was reported before, and it will be reported, no questions asked. What was reported before no longer exists or matters because official sources, our nation's ministers of truth, say it doesn't. Go back and read George Orwell's 1984. It'll give you goose bumps.
From chapter: Kristina Borjesson, Into the Buzzsaw
Source: Into the Buzzsaw, p. 297-298
- Effie, meanwhile, went off the rails, and when this was pointed out to her in so many words, she said 'What rails? Whose rails?'
Source: The Only Problem, p. 362-363
- Everything that allowed the genius of a people to assert itself bent more and more under the pressure of hostile forces, more or less disguised. Whatever could have been added to its assets -- the fundamental code of this people as, like it or not, it arose from its institutions -- was left in the shadows out of fear that the concept of liberty, which doesn't take well to resting, might become more demanding.
Source: Arcanum 17, p. 125
- Furthermore, the terrorist has a far greater capacity to garner public attention than does the soldier. It is a particularly salient confirmation of the common perception in postmodern discourse that reality is being shattered into images and that everyday life is becoming confused with TV's hyperreal world.
Source: Terror and Taboo, p. 6-7
- He felt over-protected. How can you deal with the problem of suffering if everybody conspires to estrange you from suffering?
Source: The Only Problem, p. 378
- How long will we have to wait for a brand new laboratory where established ideas, no matter which, beginning with the most elementary ones, the ones most hastily exonerated, will be accepted only for purposes of study, contingent on an examination from top to bottom and by definition free from all preconceptions?
Source: Arcanum 17, p. 61
- How to persuade the reader that the actual direction of contemporary politics is toward a political system the very opposite of what the political leadership, the mass media, and think tank oracles claim that it is, the world's foremost exemplar of democracy?
Source: Democracy Inc., p. xx
- In combining issues of terrorism, Holocaust memory, and narrative, Abish's How German Is It certainly educes the salient antagonisms of the period. Yet I would argue that it also engages directly in the entwining of discourse and violence, memory and performance, that I have been discussing to produce its own image of fiction's potential for intervention. Towards the end of the fourth and penultimate part of the novel, 'Sweet truth', the narrator raises the question: 'Can only revolutions undermine the tyranny of the familiar day-to-day events?'
Source: Terrorism and Modern Literature, p. 222-223
- In refusing the mantle of humanism, surrealism opened itself to the discomfiting possibility that its work would be overshadowed by the allure of terrorist action or of political expediency. Yet as the group's long-standing fascination with crime reveals, the movement was dedicated less to destroying al laws than to thwarting the tendency for experimental thought to become law. The surrealist experiment, then, might be understood as the attempt to mobilize art to "suppress the exploitation of man by man" by causing an insurrection within thought. Herein lies surrealism's essential contribution to twentieth-century thought: not, as Jean Clair claimed, in "preparing the mind" for the atrocities of terrorism and the Holocaust, but in preparing the mind to defend itself against the forms of ideological closure that ensure the continuation of such atrocities.
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 276
- In such passages in Breton, photography intervenes in a very strange way. It makes the streets, gates, squares of the city into illustrations of a trashy novel, draws off the banal obviousness of this ancient architecture to inject it with the most pristine intensity toward the events described, to which, as in old chambermaids' books, word-for-word quotations with page numbers refer. And all the parts of Paris that appear here are places where what is between these people turns like a revolving door.
Source: Surrealism: the Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia, p. 51
- Incredible as it may seem, the Tarahumara Indians live as if they were already dead. They do not see reality and they draw magical powers from the contempt they have for civilization.
Source: The Peyote Dance, p. 3
- Instead of reading on and on about the tenuousness, ambiguity, or uncertainty of someone's feelings, she preferred to question the meaning of a thing or the meaning of a thought, preferably raising the question in German, a foreign or at any rate adopted language that enabled her to reduce these crucial questions to pure signs, since in German the word thing and the word thought did not immediately evoke in her brain the multitudinous response it did in English, where the words, those everyday words, conjured up an entire panorama of familiar associations that blunted the preciseness needed in order to bring her philosophical investigation to a satisfactory conclusion. Could this be the reason why she had come to Germany? To think in German, to question herself in a foreign language?
Source: How German Is It, p. 36
- It is not surprising, then, that when Breton had to deal with women participants in his own movement, he chose ones that he thinks he can deploy as Surrealist tropes of the female, as women who are stand-ins for the various aspects of Surrealist aesthetics. If Prassinos's inclusion in the Anthologie de l'humour noir can be seen as a token gesture to showcase the Surrealist trope of the "child-woman," then Carrington is obviously introduced as the embodiment of the "femme-folle," the madwoman.
Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 97
- It was through the critical rejection of all existing political, social and moral codes that Fourier said he first caught a glimpse of the mechanisms of 'passionate attraction' -- natural impulses and cadences that occur on a level below the threshold of thought processes and which persist regardless of civilization's attempt to repress them through the artificial constructs of moralization, rationalization, guilt, fear and intolerance. If one were to recalibrate his or her life to that unified rhythmic pulse buried under the noise and tumult of modern life, and work toward building social formations that were similarly fine-tuned to these rhythms, then human life would evolve into a new, more natural harmonious order of cooperative unity, free passion, profound fulfillment and ludic pleasure.
From chapter: Attacks of the Fantastic, Donald LaCoss
Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 273-274
- Like Burroughs, Spinoza shows that, far from being an aberrant condition, addiction is the standard state for human beings, who are habitually enslaved into reactive and repetitive behaviors by frozen images (of themselves and the world). Freedom, Spinoza shows, is something that can be achieved only when we can apprehend the real causes of our actions, when we can set aside the 'sad passions' that intoxicate and entrance us.
Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 73
- May the recent events have taught France and the world that liberty can only subsist in a dynamic state, that it becomes denatured and negates itself at the moment when one makes of it a museum piece...Humanity's aspirations for liberty must always be given the power to recreate themselves endlessly; that's why it must be thought of not as a state but as a living force bringing about continual progress...Liberty is not, like liberation, a struggle against sickness, it is health.
Source: Arcanum 17, p. 126,128
- Not surprisingly, the mythography to which novels respond and contribute is frequently paranoid, obsessed with fantastically exaggerated dangers. Before the 1970s, the most famous novels about terrorism commonly depicted terrorism as a type of philosophical and psychological derangement and hence not much to worry about, except insofar as philosophies and psychologies can be worrying. The terrorists in novels like Conrad's Secret Agent (1907) are in fact capable of little; they suffer from indolence and aimlessness, and the police have their number. In G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), a presumably dangerous terrorist conspiracy turns out to be wholly an invention of counterterrorist and counter-counterterrorist agents spying on one another. The only terrorist threat, for Chesterton, is the fear of terrorism. Even in Greene's The Quiet American, the main terrorist (the American of the title) is ineffectual; he causes death and destruction but misses his targets and does not accomplish any political goals. Twenty years later, in post-1970 fiction, however, terrorists are often magnificently adept at inflicting harm on others an challenging the security and the politics of their adversaries. It is not just that they succeed in causing damage; they succeed implausibly, stringing up success after success, engaging in more and more elaborate, ingenious, and unlikely conspiracies, and causing all sorts of implausible disruption. That a certain formal realism, including attention to realistic detail, may nevertheless convince their readers to take the fantasies of danger seriously, to see plausibility and vitality in them, is not in dispute. Nor is it in dispute that, though the fictions exaggerate, what they exaggerate is itself something real to the external world. Terrorism disrupts, damages, ills. But i its implausible exaggerations, the fiction is often unmistakably a fiction of fear, nightmarish in its concocting of terrors, ghoulish in its concocting of agents of mass destruction.
Source: Terrorism and the Novel, 1970-2001, p. 401-402
- Of all conceivable luxuries, death, in its fatal and inexorable form, is undoubtedly the most costly.
Source: The Accursed Share, p. 34
- One might even say that potlatch is the specific manifestation, the meaningful form of luxury. Beyond the archaic forms, luxury has actually retained the functional value of potlatch, creative of rank. Luxury still determines the rank of the one who displays it, and there is no exalted rank that does not require a display. But the petty calculations of those who enjoy luxury are surpassed in every way. In wealth, what shines through the defects extends the brilliance of the sun and provokes passion. It is not what is imagined by those who have reduced it to their poverty; it is the return of life's immensity to the truth of exuberance. This truth destroys those who have taken it for what it is not; the least that one can say is that the present forms of wealth make a shambles and a human mockery of those who think they own it. In this respect, present-day society is huge counterfeit, where this truth of wealth has underhandedly slipped into extreme poverty. The true luxury and the real potlatch of our times falls to the poverty-stricken, that is, to the individual who lies down and scoffs. A genuine luxury requires the complete contempt for riches, the somber indifference of the individual who refuses work and makes his life on the one hand an infinitely ruined splendor, and on the other, a silent insult to the laborious lie of the rich. Beyond a military exploitation, a religious mystification and a capitalist misappropriation, henceforth no one can rediscover the meaning of wealth, the explosiveness that it heralds, unless it is in the splendor of rags and the somber challenge of indifference. One might say, finally, that the lie destines life's exuberance to revolt.
Source: The Accursed Share, p. 76-77
- Perhaps above all, paranoid art is usefully confused about what is on the inside and what is on the outside of the container. Which is the place the war is to be fought?...Paranoid art is where Copernicus goes to be persistently overthrown, for it has noticed that consciousness is itself a permanent conspiracy theory, and one that is ipso facto correct. I think, therefore I am at the center of this story. Even if I don't want to be. Even if I'd rather sleep. While paranoia in everyday life asks questions it believes have terrifying answers, paranoid art knows the more terrifying (and inevitable) discoveries are further questions. For paranoid art, unlike paranoid persons, also distrusts itself. And so, paranoid art is the ultimate opposite, the urgent opposite, of complacent art.
Source: Fear of Music, p. 109
- Perversely, Clair's absurdist condensation of historical causality insists upon the contemporary significance of avant-garde movements. In the case of surrealism, the group's violent rhetorical and poetic practices are no longer relegated to a quaint corner of literary and aesthetic history (as they often are in the U.S.), but are instead implicated in a much greater contemporary crisis in humanism. Indeed, Clair insists upon surrealism's genealogical ties to more recent anti-humanist thinkers, from Lacan and Debord to Deleuze and Baudrillard, who likewise refused to keep their radical ideas out of everyday affairs. This is consistent, Clair reminds us, with the nature of avant-gardism, whose cultural position is based on collapsing the distinction between "art" and "life." This collapse bears ethical as well as aesthetic consequences: what is at stake, for instance, when avant-garde rhetoric is spiked with appeals to violence, as well as with practices that tend toward the dissolution of humanistic ideals? How, and to what extent, do the more incendiary tactics of a movement like surrealism "prepare the mind?" And for what do they prepare it?
Source: Object Lessons: Surrealist Art, Surrealist Politics, p. 178
- Recognizing the popular and clinical impact of crime to be an admixture of fiction and fact, the surrealists viewed crime as a phenomenon of the marvelous, an event characterized by the discrepancies and excesses it brought to light. Louis Aragon, in a series of aphorisms published in 1925, refers to this phenomenal quality as "the contradiction that reveals itself within the real." Aragon would later uphold this phenomenon as a mechanism for political change, arguing that the marvelous provides a means for diagnosing crises within existing political and cultural orders, as well as for attacking, in turn, the ideological forces that sustain them as reality...The surrealist fascination with crime is fundamental, I propose, to the movement's collective project, a radical synthesis of diverse fields of knowledge that sought to transform the ordering systems through which we understand and experience modern life.
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 1-2
- Ruth, Harvey thought as he did so, has been crying a lot over the past few weeks, crying and laughing. I noticed, but I didn't notice.
Source: The Only Problem, p. 411
- She could not bear to be only a terrifying dream.
Source: All Hallows' Eve, p. 14
- She was becoming strange to herself; her words, even her intonations, were foreign. In a foreign land she was speaking a foreign tongue; she spoke and did not know what she said. Her mouth was uttering its own habits, but the meaning of those habits was not her own.
Source: All Hallows' Eve, p. 13
- Terrorism insists that everyday randomness shall be transformed, shall be made to express overwhelming political certainty: the personal is the political, terrorism declares with a vengeance. The insistence makes everything which is casual and random, everything which is indefinite, speak the univocal definiteness of political conviction, or religious conviction too. Like writing that uses multiple meanings to disclose a new single determination of thought or reality, terrorism's disruption of what is quotidian insists that we grasp reality in the shocking light of a novel all-unifying determination.
Source: G.K. Chesterton and the Terrorist God Outside Modernism, p. 157
- The Aztecs, about whom I will speak first, are poles apart from us morally. As a civilization is judged by its works, their civilization seems wretched to us. They used writings and were versed in astronomy, but all their important undertakings were useless: Their science of architecture enabled them to construct pyramids on top of which they immolated human beings.
Their world view is singularly and diametrically opposed to the activity-oriented perspective that we have. Consumption loomed just as large in their thinking as production does in ours. They were just as concerned about sacrificing as we are about working.
Source: The Accursed Share, p. 46
- The best we can do is acknowledge the fact that we are prisoners -- that we'll perish in security, perhaps from security.
Source: The Safety Net, p. 123
- The call center experience distills the political phenomenology of late capitalism: the boredom and frustration punctuated by cheerily piped PR, the repeating of the same dreary details many times to different poorly trained and badly informed operatives, the building rage that must remain impotent because it can have no legitimate object, since -- as is very quickly clear to the caller -- there is no-one who knows, and no-one who could do anything even if they could. Anger can only be a matter of venting; it is aggression in a vacuum, directed at someone who is a fellow victim of the system but with whom there is no possibility of communality. Just as the anger has no proper object, it will have no effect. In this experience of a system that is unresponsive, impersonal, centerless, abstract and fragmentary, you are as close as you can be to confronting the artificial stupidity of Capital in itself.
Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 64
- The fifth act, entirely an anticlimax, is taken up by the bloodbath Gennaro visits on the court of Squamuglia. Every mode of violent death available to Renaissance man, including a lye pit, land mines, a trained falcon with envenom'd talons, is employed. It plays, as Metzger remarked later, like a Road Runner cartoon in blank verse. At the end of it about the only character left alive in a stage dense with corpses is the colourless administrator, Gennaro.
Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 55
- The great enemy of mankind is opacity. This opacity is outside him and above all within him, where conventional ideas and all sorts of dubious defenses maintain it.
Source: Arcanum 17, p. 58
- The lady, in esoteric love, matters least. So, too, for Breton. He is closer to the things that Nadja is close to than to her. What are these things? Nothing could reveal more about Surrealism than their canon. Where shall I begin? He can boast an extraordinary discovery. He was the first to perceive the revolutionary energies that appear in the 'outmoded', in the first iron constructions, the first factory buildings, the earliest photos, the objects that have begun to be extinct, grand pianos, the dresses of five years ago, fashionable restaurants when the vogue has begun to ebb from them. The relation of these things to revolution—no one can have a more exact concept of it than these authors. No one before these visionaries and augurs perceived how destitution—not only social but architectonic, the poverty of interiors, enslaved and enslaving objects—can be suddenly transformed into revolutionary nihilism. Leaving aside Aragon's Passage de l'Opera, Breton and Nadja are the lovers who convert everything that we have experienced on mournful railway journeys (railways are beginning to age), on God-forsaken Sunday afternoons in the proletarian quarters of the great cities, in the first glance through the rain-blurred window of a new apartment, into revolutionary experience, if not action. They bring the immense forces of 'atmosphere' concealed in these things to the point of explosion. What form do you suppose a life would take that was determined at a decisive moment precisely by the street song last on everyone's lips?
Source: Surrealism: the Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia, p. 50
- The most typical mode of terrorism discourse in the United States has been, indeed, one of Waiting for Terror...Now that we are told "nothing happened" during the period, Beckett's drama of aborted metaphysics and absurdity, with its intolerable emphasis on waiting turned into a kind of art, becomes an apt parable. That which captivates every mind is something so meaningless that it may never happen, yet we are forced to compulsively talk about it while awaiting its arrival. In the theater of the absurd, "non significance" becomes the only significance...When something does happen, after decades during which the absent horror has been omnipresent through the theater of waiting, the event becomes anecdotal evidence to corroborate what was intuited all along -- the by-now permanent catastrophe of autonomous Terror consisting of the waiting for terror.
Source: Terror and Taboo, p. 26
- The power of the imagery brought to life by misfortune and its healing in the sickness of Rosario and José Garcia is a power that springs into being where the life story is fitted as allegory to myths of conquest, savagery, and redemption. It should be clear by now that the magic and religious faith involved in this are neither mystical nor pragmatic, and certainly not blind adherence to blinding doctrine. Instead, they constitute an imagery epistemology splicing certainty with doubt, and despair with hope, in which dreaming -- in this case of poor country people -- reworks the significance of imagery that ruling-class institutions such as the Church have appropriated for the task of colonizing utopian fantasies.
In objectifying this reality as lo real maravilloso or realismo mágico, modern Latin American literature builds a (one-way) bridge with oral literature, yet still, so it seems to me, finds it hard to evade the heavy-handedness that Alejo Carpentier reacted against in Parisian surrealism -- the effort to create magic where only a metaphorized form could exist. Surrealism froze time and denarrativized the predictable compositions of bourgeois reality with forms taken from dreams and from decontextualized (hence all the more surreal) artifacts from the primitive world as it was imaginatively glimpsed through African masks and such in the Trocadero. Well, Carpentier found he didn't need the artifacts because there in the streets and the fields and the history of Haiti the marvelously real was staring him in the face. There it was lived. There it was culture, marvelous yet ordinary.
Source: Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, p. 165-166
- The surrealist slogans aim likewisse to rein scribe the inchoate "realm of our experience" as an intersubjective and textually overdetermined framework; yet rather than providing the means to ensure its logical, ordered resolution, the slogans are distributed with an aim to "deprive us of a frame of reference" in order to recast knowledge as what Maurice Blanchot has called a communication with the unknown. This unknown referred neither to the unknowable nor to the transcendental reality of the noumenon, but rather to the point at which interpretive systems break down -- the limits of understanding. That is, extending the surrealist assassination of unitary logic and its ideological confines into the realm of the everyday, the activities of the Surrealist Research Bureau attempted to apply this mortal blow as a form of communication that would actually prevent any singular, unitary idea from taking shape.
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 46
- The woman in the car with him (presumably Nadja) raises the stakes for him. Here is a moment: sex and speed and death. But Breton tells us that it is unnecessary to add that he didn't indulge her. In a sense, she should be his epitome of the authentic Surrealist, the kind of Surrealist that Breton wished that he could be. However, especially with Nadja's eventual breakdown, Breton recognizes that to commit fully to what he believes may very well result in self-annihilation. Ultimately, Nadja represents a failed encounter with the marvelous, an encounter from which Breton escapes. And the narrative provides Breton with a platform to elucidate the pitfalls as he learns about them. Regardless, Nadja the actual woman remains merely a placeholder in his Surrealist aesthetic. She begins as an exemplar of the marvelous and comes to represent the writer's failure to follow through with everything he thought he believed about the marvelous. However, even as a marker of failure, Nadja is a feminine representation of Breton's failure and therefore gets recuperated into his conception of Surrealist experience. If at first glance the narrative appears to be about how Nadja the woman provides Breton access to the marvelous, then the dangers of Nadja's experience serve once again abstractly as a feminine warning that the male Surrealist must overcome.
Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 97
- They all knew of his weakness, of course, but didn't know where it originated -- only Käthe, he had told her all about it, yet even she didn't know that it was the same with cigarettes as with the milk soup: that taste, that smell, that Virginia aroma -- he never found it again, never found it, kept looking for it, probably smoked to find it again, and never did.
Source: The Safety Net, p. 35
- This law of physical reciprocity which we call charity the Indians observe naturally, and without a trace of pity. Those who have nothing because they lost their harvest, because their corn has burned, because their father left them nothing, or for whatever reason which they have no need to explain, arrive at dawn at the houses of those who have something. Immediately the mistress of the house brings them whatever she has. No one looks at anyone, neither the one who gives nor the one who receives. After he has eaten, the beggar leaves without thanking or looking at anyone.
Source: The Peyote Dance, p. 5
- What the surrealists seem most to have lacked until now is intellectual aptitude. The surrealists have even displayed a contempt for tests of the intelligence. Nevertheless, the mastery of such practice perhaps remains the key to rigorous emancipation. If individual excellence is often a sign of servility, it does not follow that we can resolve the servility of the mind by using only feeble intellectual means. Besides, if one wants to see clearly, surrealism is connected to the affirmation of its value, no less than to automatic writing itself, inasmuch as it reveals thought. What Breton taught was less to become aware of the value of automatism than to write under the dictation of the unconscious. But this teaching opened up two different paths: one led to the establishment of works, and soon sacrificed any principle to the necessities of works, so accentuating the attraction value of paintings and books. This was the path the surrealists took. The other was an arduous path to the heart of being: here only the slightest attention could be paid to the attraction of works; not that this was trivial, but what was then laid bare -- the beauty and ugliness of which no longer mattered -- was the essence of things, and it was here that the inquiry into existence in the night began. Everything was suspended in a rigorous solitude. The facilities which connect works to the 'possible', or to aesthetic pleasure, had vanished (this also extended the discussion started by Rimbaud).
But when the Surrealist Group ceased to exist, I think the failure had a greater effect on the surrealism of works. Not that works had ceased to exist with the group: the abundance of surrealist works is as great now as it ever was. But they ceased to be connected to the affirmation of a hope of breaking the solitude. Today the books are in order on the shelves and the paintings adorn the walls. This is why I can say that the great surrealism is beginning.
Source: The Absence of Myth, p. 51
- What's coming now is the very, very new era which nobody will look back on with longing.
Source: The Safety Net, p. 115
- Yet despite its primacy in contemporary politics there is a distinct lack of agreement on how to define terrorism...When Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the main suspect in the 2009 shooting of 13 army personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, was featured on the cover of Time magazine (23 November 2009), the word 'TERRORIST?' was emblazoned over his eyes. Jared Lee Loughner, accused of critically wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others in Tucson, Arizona, also made it to the cover (24 January 2011) but this time the headline focused on 'Guns. Speech. Madness'. The Wall Street Journal also treated the two incidents in very different ways: '[Sen. Joe] Lieberman Suggests Army Shooter Was "Home-Grown Terrorist" was how it covered the Fort Hood story on 9 November 2009 while on 10 January 2011 the WSJ's headline was 'Suspect Fixated on Giffords'. The line between acts of terror and insanity was drawn very tightly. It seems so obvious, after all, that a Muslim targeting American soldiers must be a terrorist while a 22-year-old white native of Tucson must simply be disturbed.
From chapter: Introduction
Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 6
- [For Boorstin] the spectacle would be caused by the fact that modern man is too much of a spectator. Boorstin fails to understand that the proliferation of the prefabricated "pseudo-events" which he denounces flows from the simple fact that, in the massive reality of present social life, men do not themselves live events. Because history itself haunts modern society like a specter, pseudo-histories are constructed at every level of consumption of life in order to preserve the threatened equilibrium of present frozen time.
Source: Society of the Spectacle, p. 200
- [Georges] Sadoul's essay is by far the most paranoid, arguing that the popular appeal of magazines like Detective extended the reach of the powerful right-wing police chief Jean Chiappe....For Sadoul, the law was merely the pretext for a conspiracy of police forces, whether professional, amateur, or journalistic...[H]is intent is to suggest the complicity of even this widely read magazine...with the ideological function of police activity. This function is fascist, Sadoul argues, to the extent that participation in the surveillance and pursuit of so-called criminals is less a question of desire than an automatic function of the state...the sensationalism Sadoul decries represented not a liberation of desire or an explosion of perversity but, as Aragon similarly expresses in his "Introduction to 1930," the "revenge of censorship on the unconscious."
Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 156-157
- [Holzpuke] "No, but I have a few more questions for you -- about your friends. What you were saying just now -- that pride, that stubbornness, that being excluded -- or sense of being excluded -- those conclusions -- those ideas -- how big do you suppose it is, the group you have defined in this way?"
[Rolf] "You could figure that out very easily from your own files and those of other authorities working with you: we are all listed, aren't we -- it's not that we have a list of ourselves -- we don't know how many we are, but you should know, just take a look at this army, this phantom army -- review it -- let those hundreds of thousands of young women and men and their children parade before you, if only in your mind's eye, and ask yourself whether all their education, their potential intelligence, their strength and glory, exist merely to be kept under surveillance."
Source: The Safety Net, p. 239-240
- [I]t was...precisely at the outset that Breton declared his intention of breaking with a praxis that presents the public with the literary precipitate of a certain form of existence while withholding that existence itself. Stated more briefly and dialectically, this means that the sphere of poetry was here explored from within by a closely knit circle of people pushing the 'poetic life' to the utmost limits of possibility.
Source: Surrealism: the Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia, p. 48
- [N]o one has shown more concern than André Breton to imbue even the smallest action with a meaning that involves the fate of mankind...Unlike other schools (Romanticism, symbolism), surrealism is not a rather poorly determined freewheeling mode of activity. For a Romantic or a symbolist it was not a question of life and death that Romanticism or symbolism should be this and not that. Established from the first as a moral imperative, surrealism thus brings everything into question.
Source: The Absence of Myth, p. 57
- [W]hile the European surrealists were condemned by their society and its traditions (including its traditions of revolution and rebellion) to clumsily manipulate and juxtapose incongruent imagery, laboriously constructing outsized realities, in the European colonies and ex-colonies something like surrealism was inherent as a deeply embedded social practice in everyday life. As for surrealism, so (I would like to suggest) for dialectical images -- the the crucial difference between their European and colonial expressions being that while in Europe they were largely ignored by the populace yet (for the surrealists) "at the service of the revolution," in the colonies and ex-colonies these expressions are intrinsic to the form of life and at the service of its magicians, priests, and sorcerers.
Source: Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, p. 201