By Patrick Lepetit
A profound knowing of the surrealists’ connections with alchemists and mystery societies and the airtight aspirations published of their works
• Explains how surrealist work and poems hired mythology, gnostic ideas, tarot, voodoo, alchemy, and different airtight sciences to find unexplored areas of the brain and get better misplaced “psychic” and magical powers
• offers many examples of esoteric impression in surrealism, corresponding to how Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon was once initially titled The tub of the Philosophers
Not basically a creative or literary move as many think, the surrealists rejected the labels of artist and writer bestowed upon them via outsiders, accepting in its place the titles of magician, alchemist, or--in the case of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo--witch. Their work, poems, and different works have been created to search out unexplored areas of the brain and recuperate misplaced “psychic” and magical powers. They used artistic expression because the automobile to realize what André Breton referred to as the “supreme point,” the purpose at which all opposites stop to be perceived as contradictions. This preferrred element is located on the middle of all esoteric doctrines, together with the good paintings of alchemy, and permits communique with better states of being.
Drawing on an in depth variety of writings by way of the surrealists and people of their circle of impression, Patrick Lepetit indicates how the surrealists hired mythology, gnostic rules, tarot, voodoo, and alchemy no longer easily as reference issues yet as major components in their ongoing investigations into the elemental nature of cognizance. He presents many particular examples of esoteric impact one of the surrealists, comparable to how Picasso’s recognized Demoiselles d’Avignon used to be initially titled The bathtub of the Philosophers, how painter Victor Brauner drew from his father’s spiritualist vocation in addition to the Kabbalah and tarot, and the way medical professional and surrealist writer Pierre Mabille used to be a Freemason concerned with discovering initiatory paths the place “it is feasible to think a brand new approach connecting guy with the universe.”
Lepetit casts new gentle at the connection among key figures of the flow and the circle of adepts collected round Fulcanelli. He additionally explores the connection among surrealists and Freemasonry, Martinists, and the select Cohen in addition to the Grail mythos and the Arthurian brotherhood.
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Additional resources for The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism: Origins, Magic, and Secret Societies
Michel Carrouges offers this useful perception into the works of Frederic Myers and Théodore Flournoy: in truth, we discover of their works very special symptoms at the position held by way of stupefying coincidences, premonitions, and encounters within the lives of mediums and in these of many folks who didn't think within the present of clairvoyance in the course of a interval round the yr 1900. the majority of those phenomena—provoked or not—involved relationships among the residing and the useless. the big position held in surrealist writings by means of ghosts, haunted castles, mediums, seers, and the assumption of computerized writing displays an identical weather. ”65 in truth, in keeping with Chirico, as brought up in Surrealism and portray: one of many strangest sensations bequeathed us via prehistory is the feeling of foreboding. it is going to consistently exist. it truly is like an everlasting facts of the nonsense of the universe. the 1st guy needed to see omens in every single place; he needed to shudder at each step. And didn't Breton himself write in 1923, in Earthlight, “Veiled premonitions are descending the steps of the structures. ” except they're accurately ghosts or extra dedicated apparitions, as in “The magazine of an Apparition” through Robert Desnos66 (“We come upon supernatural presences in terrific landscapes”), or maybe “deleterious emanations,” “powers that till additional realize stay rather obscure,” like these at Fort-Bloqué in Mad Love, for instance. in the meantime, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, in “L’Horrible Révélation . . . l. a. seule,” publicizes, “Man on the earth is a abdominal of forces exuding their magic powers and receiving the valuable or malefic influx of all beings and all issues. ” eight SURREALISM AND ALCHEMY “You with Lead within the Head, soften It right down to Make Surrealist Gold” yet be forewarned, take now not vulgar gold and silver, for they're useless; take ours which are dwelling. THE COSMOPOLITE OR the recent CHEMICAL mild A surrealist flier from the Twenties proclaimed, “You with lead within the head, soften it all the way down to make surrealist gold. ”*124 this recommendation used to be repeated within the fourth factor of Médium in 1955, and it's going to be no reason for shock that “people who undertook the transformation of the area and lifestyles according to an idea of the area and lifestyles some distance faraway from mercantile rationality famous the figures and a language they'd for my part conceived for his or her particular venture within the teachings and communications crafted by means of the alchemists. ”1 *125 this can be specifically pertinent if, quoting René Alleau, we keep in mind with “one of alchemy’s first historians, Lenglet-Dufresnoy,” that the “masters of this conventional technology are the main illustrious dreamers humanity has ever recognized. ” Bachelard additionally deals this rationalization: “All Alchemy was once penetrated by way of a huge sexual reverie, a reverie of wealth and rejuvenation, by means of a reverie of energy. ”2 we won't stay away from announcing a be aware or approximately alchemy right here, approximately which Alleau (whom Breton met first and foremost of the Nineteen Fifties) may kingdom in a single of his recognized lectures: Alchemy bargains an order of reference: nature that forever alters what it produces with no altering its legislation.