May 23, 2012

Theses on Realism (or, Surrealism contra Lukács)


Accepting the bourgeois precept of sole and limitless quantitative addition as the highest expression of science and culture, Lukács above all (twice) has refused to accept its inevitable consequence: a monster. This under lying equation of all horror titillations is at the same time the birth sign and tomb inscription of the bourgeois order.

Frantically plying their cataract-crowned cerebral noses for new inspirations, bourgeois artists again produce nothing but reality warmed-over, reified factual moments on whatever strictly vertical plane palmed off as life in spectacle. The marvelous to them is first: a book; second: a book sealed with seven seals.

Though not generally given to accretions of hoarding, this peculiar redundant psychic structure is·still manifest: the contradiction most pointed in collections, private col­lections, and private showings.

The limits and condemnation of bourgeois culture are thus the museum and the market.

The activities and sterile emanations of the critics are themselves sufficient to expose them as eyeless without form, and generate a conclusion as to the eventual and definite extinction of this category of being. Secondary though necessary extrusions. Tics!

Throwing off various tangential and carnival 'isms', the entire history of bourgeois culture nevertheless essentially resolves itself into the history of realism.

In structure and intent, the novel was and remains the most auspicious form for the dissemination of realism. The novel is to bourgeois culture as money is to bourgeois economy.

The "psychological insights" of realism, this flat and mechanical reflective theory of knowledge, a later bour geois refinement, finally runs up against the wall of its cage from the inside.

Shakespeare did not write novels. Breton and Peret could not write novels.

The death of realism is a fact. It is its wake which is in progress.

Realists have sufficiently described their world; the point, however, is to destroy it. The surrealists are already sur passing this task.


from In Memory of Georg Lukács / Contribution to the Critique of an Insipid Legend, a pamphlet published by the Chicago Surrealist Group in 1971, posted in its entirety at the website of Unkant Publishing / The Association of Musical Marxists, here.  

May 4, 2012

Anti-Epiphany Bookmarks Project

Print 100 on light grey or beige card-stock and cut into quarters. Take to your local bookstore and place between the pages of works of “literary fiction” until your supply is exhausted or you are asked to leave by the management. Print more and go to another bookstore, etc.