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 rules, tarot, voodoo, alchemy, and different airtight sciences to search out unexplored areas of the brain and get better misplaced “psychic” and magical powers
• presents many examples of esoteric effect in surrealism, akin to how Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon was once initially titled The tub of the Philosophers
Not basically an inventive or literary stream as many think, the surrealists rejected the labels of artist and writer bestowed upon them by way of 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 get better misplaced “psychic” and magical powers. They used inventive expression because the car to achieve what André Breton referred to as the “supreme point,” the purpose at which all opposites stop to be perceived as contradictions. This splendid element is located on the center of all esoteric doctrines, together with the good paintings of alchemy, and permits communique with greater states of being.
Drawing on an in depth variety of writings by means of the surrealists and people of their circle of impact, 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 basic nature of cognizance. He offers many particular examples of esoteric impact one of the surrealists, equivalent to how Picasso’s well-known 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 general practitioner and surrealist writer Pierre Mabille was once a Freemason all for discovering initiatory paths the place “it is feasible to suppose a brand new procedure connecting guy with the universe.”
Lepetit casts new gentle at the connection among key figures of the stream and the circle of adepts amassed 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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Extra resources for The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism: Origins, Magic, and Secret Societies
Hérold wrote, “This is what i'd have sought after my portray to be, the invasion of the physique via a substance that's at the same time either stable and liquid, crystalline, luminous, refined, potable gold, the elixir of the alchemists. ”42 along with his poem “Gypsy Queen” (written whilst he was once in Havana in 1968 and now a part of his 5th poetry assortment, Ruisseau des solitudes), André Pieyre de Mandiargues proposes an “essay of interpretation and appropriation of an alchemically emblematic determine” (italics added). This poem ends with the next traces: The adept has been diverted The ebook of knowledge is close And the cup of the smoking center is able to return to the open sea within the music of the wonderful wind. The be aware appropriation turns out an ideal selection, and the author’s mind's eye seems poised to persist with tracks which are really new yet becomes speedily everyday to him after his discovery of a “Yugoslavian” painter, Popovic Alekse Ljubomir, often called Ljuba, approximately whom Mandiargues feels “obliged” in Un Saturne gai: Entretien avec Yvonne Caroutch (A homosexual Saturn: An Interview with Yvonne Caroutch) to “utter a sacred be aware, yet person who has turn into sullied this day: alchemy. ” He ends with the subsequent sentence: “Couldn’t Ljuba’s craft, within which a quick look distinguishes a purification and crystallization of the picture or photos, and a sublimation of the work’s pictorial components, be a number of that of the traditional adepts? ” Mandiargues, who during this example is relayed by way of José Pierre, indicators us furthermore that the paintings of this mannerist painter (although authentically surrealist) proves to be an “esoteric paintings orientated by means of enormous readings, in addition to a religious meditation and an interrogation of the character of guy and that of the universe,” which during this example sincerely has to do with a imaginative and prescient of the realm marked by means of alchemical inspiration. To force this element domestic, Mandiargues devoted to his pal (in The Drunken Eye) an ode worthy quoting in its entirety for a way it suits so completely inside a context with such powerful airtight connotations: Ode to Ljuba Emperor Rudolph, if he again If he regained the androgynous throne reworked from Hadrian’s Tivoli to the Hradchin underneath the scepter of a lunatic esotericism i do know that he may locate the right imagemaker within the individual of Ljuba grasp within the current Of Mannerism earlier and destiny. forty three Jacques Van Lennep doesn't fail to underscore that “the goals have been born to dissolve into one another,” as alchemical artwork attained its peak while mannerism used to be prevailing within the courts of imperative Europe in the course of the century of Paracelsus and Cornelius Agrippa. It was once a time whilst “science acquired on good with madness,” a time that used to be might be “the such a lot anguished in addition to the main nerve racking of our civilization. ”44 one other shut affiliate of surrealism encouraged by way of the royal paintings was once Maurice Fourré, writer of l. a. Nuit du Rose-Hôtel. In his publication Maurice Fourré, rêveur définitif, Philippe Audoin acknowledged of Fourré that alchemical references have been detectable within the paintings of this Angevin author and questioned if he had at his disposal “at the top of his lifestyles, on the finish of all his ‘travels’, an information of an esoteric nature that he taught covertly to these with the ears to listen to him.