Morning Star: surrealism, marxism, anarchism, situationism, utopia (Surrealist Revolution)
An expanded edition of revered theorist Michael Löwy's Morning Star: Marxism and Surrealism (previously published in French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and Greek), this masterwork collects the author's essays on the ways in which surrealism intersected with a variety of revolutionary political approaches, ranging from utopian ideals to Marxism and situationism. Taking its title from André Breton's essay "Arcane 17," which casts the star as the searing firebrand of rebellion, Löwy's provocative work spans many perspectives. These include surrealist artists who were deeply interested in Marxism and anarchism (Breton among them), as well as Marxists who were deeply interested in surrealism (Walter Benjamin in particular).
Probing the dialectics of innovation, diversity, continuity, and unity throughout surrealism's international presence, Morning Star also incorporates analyses of Claude Cahun, Guy Debord, Pierre Naville, José Carlos Mariátegui and others, accompanied by numerous reproductions of surrealist art. An extraordinarily rich collection, Morning Star promises to ignite new dialogues regarding the very nature of dissent.
world from civilization in order to establish a stockpile of resources ripe for capitalist abuse. Revolutionary Romantic resistance to Enlightenment theory and ix morning star practice was organized within the innumerable spaces of irreconcilable contradictions that riddled liberal-bourgeois industrial civilization in the nineteenth century; the resistance opposed the intensifying trends of colonial exploitation, bureaucratic power, and State violence that were (and remain) so central to
World War, was scandalous and aberrant in our eyes.”² This visceral rejection of social and institutional modernity did not stop the Surrealists from referring to cultural modernity— which derived from Baudelaire and Rimbaud. The favorite targets of the Surrealist attacks on Western civilization were narrow-minded rationalism, conventional realism, and positivism in all its forms.³ In the First Surrealist Manifesto (1924), Breton denounced the attitude shown in the suppression, “under the guise
pro-Soviet Communist movement. In 1955, with other ex-Trotskyists (Gilles Martinet, Yvan Craipeau, Favre-Bleibtreu), he helped found the New Left, which later joined other groups to form the Union of the Socialist Left and, in 1960, the Uniﬁed Socialist Party (PSU), in which Naville remained for the next decades. Unlike Trotsky, he considered the USSR a primitive form of socialism; he used the term “state (or bureaucratic) socialism.” But during the ﬁfties he became increasingly critical of
declaration of the FIARI, “A bas les lettres de cachet! A bas la terreur grise!,” which was also the last collective manifestation of the Surrealists before the war and the dispersal of the group. In 1940, with the beginning of World War II and the occupation of the Channel Islands by the Third Reich, a new chapter in Claude Cahun’s political and intellectual life began, perhaps the most astonishing and impressive of all: anti-Fascist Resistance. When the German troops arrived, Cahun’s ﬁrst
document and an accompanying inquiry were circulated in Paris, Prague, Chicago, and other places, eliciting numerous responses, mostly positive, which were collected in March 1970 and circulated under the title Pour communication: Réponses à l’enquête “Rien ou quoi?” The Parisian Surrealists who refused to abandon the movement regrouped, in close relation with their friends in Prague, around the Bulletin de liaison Surréaliste. They were also supported by the Surrealists in the United States. For