The surrealists, attentive readers of the press and active consumers of commercial literature and film, established many of the basic coordinates of their poetic universe according to the turn-of-the-century aesthetics of crime. This cultural material was shaped by the new media that trafficked in its sensational or juridical consequences. By the 1920s, Belle Epoque inventions such as the Grand Guignol and the crime serial had grown increasingly dated and untimely, an index of their own historicity. The group's fascination for crime fact and fiction alike was thus fueled neither by nostalgia for the lurid imagery of a bygone Paris, nor by a prurient interest in transgressive violence, whether criminal or insurrectional. Rather, the movement's intellectual and political priorities evolved in tandem with its attention to the media within which such transgressions unfolded. Crime is not a static concept, nor, for that matter, is Surrealism, or its political or artistic practices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Arts and Humanities