Maybe there are two Borges in the world, existing at the same time. One is the fiction writer we know, the lover of paradox, the trickster, the forger, the artist who describes fantastical events with straight-faced authority, using the syntax and tone of academia; and then there is this other Borges, the critic, who writes reasonably and clearly, companionably and insightfully, about high-brow and esoteric subjects, whose aim is elucidation rather than bewilderment.
Posts Tagged: surrealism
What do you get when you combine a missing sister, an attic door that won’t close, a biohazard cleaning team, and a cameo from two blind tabby cats named Dr. No and Mr. Goldfinger? A new Laura van den Berg story, “Aftermath.” Originally published in the most recent print-only issue of Conjunctions, you can read it online this week at Lit Hub....more
We can toss around “sci-fi,” “fantasy,” “magical realism,” “surrealism,” and a dozen other genres in our struggle to categorize literature, but the term “weird fiction” is an interesting category that attempts to encapsulate a unifying element. Over at Lit Hub, Tobias Caroll makes the case for “weird fiction” and covers several examples of its wide breadth....more
As the story goes, nearly 100 years ago a group of Surrealist artists gathered together and put a new spin on an old parlor game called Consequences. The meeting resulted in their collective authorship of this phrase: “The/ exquisite/ corpse/ will/ drink/ the/ young/ wine.” Now familiar to many writers by the name of “Exquisite Corpse,” the game requires at least three participants who send round a single sheet of paper on which each member, looking only at the entry that came before him or her, makes a written or drawn contribution, folds over the paper, and passes it on to the next person....more
The spirit was a muse extraordinaire from 1859, when Édouard Manet’s The Absinthe Drinker shocked the annual Salon de Paris, to 1914, when Pablo Picasso created his painted bronze sculpture, The Glass of Absinthe….It shaped Symbolism, Surrealism, Modernism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Cubism.
Allison Flood at the Guardian has dug up an article from the journal Psychological Science showing that reading surrealism may actually make people smarter.
In the study, some subjects were given Kafka’s “A Country Doctor,” and others were given a rewrite of that story that “made more sense.” Those who read Kafka did better in the test researchers gave afterwards, a test that asked people to find patterns in strings of letters....more