Surrealism, Science Fiction and Comics

Edited by Gavin Parkinson

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ISBN: 9781781381434

Publication: May 5, 2015

Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 50

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Although the self-definition of Surrealism and the initial defining of science fiction as a genre both took place in the 1920s and the links between the two are manifest, no full study has appeared till now on Surrealism and SF. Across ten original essays, Surrealism, Science Fiction and Comics looks at how the Surrealist movement in France and the USA used, informed, contributed to, and criticised SF from that moment, whilst including discussion of the related genre of comics. Among its aims are a reassessment of Jules Verne in the light of Surrealism and an analysis of the debate in the 1950s on the ‘new’ Anglo-American literature arriving in France. This received, in fact, a mixed reception from the Surrealists of that decade even though writers and intellectuals close to the movement in the 1920s were directly responsible for its success. The book includes further essays on the subsequent impact of Surrealism on SF novelists J.G. Ballard and Alan Burns, and features essays that argue for Salvador Dalí’s closeness to SF in the 1960s and his disagreement with the earlier scientific romance defined by Verne. The chapters that bring in comics range from theoretical discussions of the relation between the original comic strips of Rodolphe Töpffer and the key Surrealist technique of automatism, used in art and writing, through the cybernetic implications of the proto-SF Surrealist ciné-roman ‘M. Wzz…’ of 1929, which has never discussed in any detail before, to the 1948 Vache paintings by René Magritte, inspired by Louis Forton’s strip Les Pieds nickelés. This pioneering set of essays shows how Surrealism from the 1920s to the 1970s did not just receive and adapt SF but impacted the genre in its later manifestations.

Gavin Parkinson is Lecturer in European Modernism at the Courtauld Institute of Art. His previous books include 'Surrealism, Art and Modern Science: Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Epistemology' (Yale University Press, 2008) and 'The Duchamp Book' (Tate Publishing, 2008).

Acknowledgments List of illustrations Introduction 1. Abigail Susik - Surrealism and Jules Verne: Navigating Context, Intertext and Subtext for a Collage by Max Ernst 2. Barnaby Dicker - André Breton, Rodolphe Töpffer and the Automatic Message 3. Jonathan P. Eburne - Approximate Life: The Tribulations of Mr. Wzz… 4. Gilda Axelroud - René Magritte’s 'Vache' Paintings and 'Les Pieds nickelés': A Bataillean Reassessment 5. Gavin Parkinson - Possible Worlds: Surrealism, Michel Carrouges, and the Critical Reception of Anglo-American Science Fiction in France 6. Joanna Pawlik - The Comic Book Conditions of Chicago Surrealism 7. Jeannette Baxter - Accident and Apocalypse in Alan Burns’s 'Europe after the Rain' 8. Gavin Parkinson - Surrealist Painting as Science Fiction: Considering J.G. Ballard’s Innate Releasing Mechanism 9. Julia Pine - A Fantastic Voyage: Mapping Salvador Dalí’s Science Fiction World of Tomorrow 10. Elliott King - Ten Recipes for Immortality: A Study in Dalínian Science and Paranoiac Fictions Bibliography Index

Parkinson has done an admirable job adding details and signposts to the endless journey of Surrealism.
Laura Winton   Rain Taxi

A timely and fascinating collection that raises important contemporary questions and speaks to several disciplines.
Hugo Frey  

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

288 Pages

Copyright: © 2015

ISBN: 9781781381434

Publication: May 5, 2015

Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 50

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