Convulsive Beauty

The Lovers' Flower-From Nadja 1928-Leona Delcourt
The Lovers’ Flower-From Nadja 1928-Leona Delcourt

Andre Breton had ended Nadja with the bold statement that: “Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or will not be at all.” In L’Amour Fou (Mad Love) from 1937 he further expands on the theme with the declaration: “Convulsive beauty will be veiled-erotic, fixed-explosive, magic-circumstantial, or won’t be at all.” Accompanying the text are three photographs illustrating the types of convulsive beauty: Man Ray‘s Veiled-Erotic, a stunning nude study of the Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim, Fixed-Explosive also by Man Ray and Brassai‘s strange Magic-Circumstantial. All the images had previously appeared in the Surrealist magazine Minotaure.

26 thoughts on “Convulsive Beauty

      1. This certainly merged with that philosophy. Yes, a shame that the reality of the world cannot be overcome with enchantment. We must try to imbue it upon our personal experience. At least part of the time…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Which is exactly what Breton thought. One of his early important essays was called Discourse on the Paucity of Reality. Most of Surrealism is aimed at re-enchantment. Though Breton would have said all the time and for that social structures would have to be completely transformed, and that it had to re-enchanted collectively, not just by the alienated individual. Hence the political engagement.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Interesting that surrealist ‘enchantment’ had (for the most part) such a deeply disturbing aesthetic. It very well reflects our darker natures and that unexplainable subconscious mind. I wonder how a surrealist revolution would have looked in practice? A fascinating idea to contemplate!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s