Reimagining Life

Philosophical Pessimism and the Revolution of Surrealism

By (author) Raihan Kadri

Hardback - £74.00

Publication date:

07 June 2011

Length of book:

206 pages

Publisher

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

ISBN-13: 9781611470123

In Reimagining Life, Raihan Kadri presents a pioneering critical history of the epistemological and theoretical origins of the Surrealist movement and its subsequent legacy. The book contains extensive examination and new interpretations of the oft-neglected theoretical writing of Surrealists such as Louis Aragon, Antonin Artaud, André Breton, and Salvador Dalí, in order to demonstrate how Surrealism embodied a sensibility connected to a broader lineage of philosophical pessimism—involving such figures as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, and Arthur Rimbaud—which Kadri argues represents a particular strain of modernism aimed at breaking human thought away from the constraint of various forms of idealism, expanding the possibilities for knowledge and human freedom. This innovative, wide-ranging study deftly traverses fields of art, politics, philosophy, psychology, and literature. Reimagining Life redefines Surrealism’s place in modern intellectual history and offers a new vision of how Surrealist discourse can be connected to contemporary debates in cultural, critical, and theoretical studies.
This is one of the most original studies of Surrealism to appear for many years. A close and brilliant reading of the most important early Surrealist texts brings out their theoretical foundations in philosophical pessimism and restores a sense of Surrealism's intellectual vitality. Artists and poets continue to explore its ideas and resources, and this book helps to explain why.