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Légitime Défense: From Communism and Surrealism to Caribbean Self-Definition

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Eight Martinican students living in Paris announce their struggle for literary and political agency in the 1932 declaration Légitime defense. Explicitly indebted to Communism and Surrealism, the declaration appropriates these

Eight Martinican students living in Paris announce their struggle for literary and political agency in the 1932 declaration Légitime defense. Explicitly indebted to Communism and Surrealism, the declaration appropriates these movements’ rhetoric and redirects it to their own condition. Although Communism and Surrealism’s revolutionary zeal and opposition to the 1931 Colonial Exposition in Paris position them as apt models for the students, their platforms both work to reinscribe the non-Western within a primitivist binary. Through their use of the manifesto, the Martinican students enter into an aesthetic and political debate from a position of authority, both poaching their predecessors’ authority and initiating their own historical trajectory. By defining the Martinican subject within the legacy of Marx and Breton, the eight signatories situate themselves at the intersection of political and artistic revolutionary politics that both reinscribe and resist European distinctions between center and periphery, civilized and primitive, self and other.

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  • 2010

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 4 No. 1 (2010)

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The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 4 No. 1 (2010) - Table of Contents

“Out of Field (Fuera de campo): Marcel Duchamp in Buenos Aires” by Graciela Speranza, p.

The Journal of Surrealism and the Americas: Vol. 4 No. 1 (2010) - Table of Contents

“Out of Field (Fuera de campo): Marcel Duchamp in Buenos Aires” by Graciela Speranza, p. 1-14. 

“Légitime défense: From Communism and Surrealism to Caribbean Self-Definition” by Lori Cole, p. 15-30. 

“Remedios Varo's Mexican Drawings” by Rosa Berland, p. 30-42.

“Bee Dreaming: the Surreal Odysseys Behind Alan Glass’ Wunderkabinetts” by Gloria Orenstein, p. 43-59.

“Review of Patricia Allmer, ‘René Magritte: Beyond Painting’ by Terri Geis, p. 60-63.

“Review of Eric Ratcliffe, ‘Ithell Colquhoun: Pioneer Surrealist, Artist, Occultist, Writer and Poet’” by Elisabeth Sherman, p. 64-68. 

“‘Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective’: Issues of Identity and Camouflage” by Samantha Kavky, p. 69-72.

“Review of Catherine Millet, ‘Dalí and Me’” by Jonathan S. Wallis, p. 73-77.

“Maria Martins: the Open Secret of Étant donnés. Review of ‘Marcel Duchamp. Étant donnés’” by Frédérique Joseph-Lowery, p. 78-85. 

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Date Created
  • 2010