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its practice of everyday life, between poetry and the concrete, transformative action the movement promised to enact. Whilst Luca’s direct involvement with this strand of activity seems to have been limited solely to the period of the Bucharest surrealist group, a concern with the problem of the object would, as we shall see, remain visible in his later work. The world of Luca’s earliest surrealist writings, dating from the very end of the 1930s and early 1940s, is already suffused with an ecstatic vision of things and their inter-relationships in which even the humblest article is capable of a benign or malevolent independent agency, part of a constellation of sentient forms gathered around our every step:

The objects suavely heteroclite, the button, the veins, a mustache, a guitar, a thunderbolt, the piano thrown from the window, a hat from which a very beautiful woman consumes spaghetti […] a spider next to a fork, and the mythology of orgy take on a voluptuously fresh significance, the rendezvous of objects borrowing the velvety feel of nebulousness and the catastrophic nature of a rendezvous of planets […].37 More strikingly still, this vision of a tumult of everyday objects enacting their own promiscuous interactions or hastening an occult and erotic re-reading of human relationships formed the basis for a unique, legendary work within Luca’s œuvre, one which was sometimes (though misleadingly) placed at the head of his bibliographies as if to suggest its status as an ‘ur-text’ preceding all others. Quantitativement aimée dates from 1944 (making it the first of Luca’s explicitly surrealist works to be published, even if it postdates other manuscripts such as the text I have just cited).

37

Gherasim Luca, “I Love You,” in Inventor of Love and Other Writings, tr. by Julian and Laura Semilian (Boston: Black Widow Press, 2009) 96–100 (see 96). The original text in Romanian dates from 1942.

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Profile for Contra Mundum Press

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

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