The Crucified Mind

The Crucified Mind : Rafael Alberti and the Surrealist Ethos in Spain

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Why is the Spanish input to Surrealism so distinctive and strong? What do such renowned figures as Dali, Bunuel, Lorca, Aleixandre and Alberti have in common? This book untangles the issue of Surrealism in Spain by focusing on a consistent feature in Spanish avant-garde poetry, art and film of the late twenties and thirties: its supersaturation in religion. A repressive religious upbringing, typically under the Jesuits, intensifies both the paranoiac and the mystical - Surrealism's twin pillars - which were already deeply ingrained in the Spanish psyche. Striking examples are Lorca's prophetic voice in New York, Dali and Bunuel's Eucharistic transformations, Alberti's Loyolan materio-mysticism. Alberti is the fulcrum of this study since his poetry goes the full distance of Surrealism's evolution from Freudian catharsis to metaphysical transcendence until it expires in a Marxist reaction to church-bound tradition when his nation convulses in civil war, the surrealist ethos in Spain is not reducible to measuring how closely it imitates French theory. It is 'more serious' than the French, says Alberti, and its bearings are found on a cross of mental suffering and in a journey out of hell that made real art in practice.

ROBERT HAVARD is Professor of Spanish, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 276 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 23.62mm | 689.46g
  • Tamesis Books
  • Woodbridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 6 Illustrations, color; 6 Illustrations, black and white
  • 185566075X
  • 9781855660755

Table of contents

The crucified mind; under the Jesuits; last things first- scatology and eschatology; from pain to prophect; transubstantiation and metamorphosis; come the revolution.
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About Robert G. Havard

Robert Harvard is Professor of Spanish at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
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