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in secret signals contains the means to overcome the human condition in all its oppressive aspects the solution to the great Oedipal drama. Luca was convinced he was in possession of an important discovery that could breathe new life into Surrealism in the immediate postwar years. With D. Trost he wrote “The Dialectic of the Dialectic,” a manifesto sent off to the Parisian group like a message in a bottle tossed into the ocean. Presented there, in a rapid-fire and effective style, are the theoretical contributions and practical works of the Romanian surrealists. Love, first of all, as “our principal mode of knowledge and action.” Pursuing a dialectical course, Luca arrived at a poetic-revolutionary declaration of the only kind of caution ever attributed to him: “[W]e believe that the eroticization of the proletariat is the most precious warrant that can be found to ensure them a real revolutionary development in the miserable era we are traversing.”3 With “apparent grandomania” — rather unlike his customary discretion, attested to by everyone who knew him — Luca makes the claim that “Love was invented in 1945.” He does so in his letter, in reply to Sarane Alexandrian, on the occasion of a new questionnaire through which André Breton aimed to re-launch the surrealist movement, summarizing its present situation and future aims while, at the same time, identifying friends in solidarity and adversaries who were not.4 The questionnaire was developed in the course of a meeting over which Breton presided with attendees that included Yves Bonnefoy, Claude Tarnaud, and Sarane Alexandrian. The latter, with Georges Henein and Henri Pastoureau, had just been appointed secretariat of the international surrealist bureau known as “Cause.” The very general question at the beginning — “What do you exactly expect from Surrealism at the present moment?” followed others such as: “What is your position 3

“Dialectic of the Dialectic: Message to the International Surrealist Movement” (Bucharest: S, Surréalisme, 1945) 18–19. See: http://www.icr.ro/bucharest/the-romanian-avant-garde-03-1999/the-dialectic-of-dialectic.html 4 Details concerning the questionnaire and Gherasim Luca’s reply from Bucharest (dated July 29, 1947) can be found in Sarane Alexandrian’s L’Evolution de Gherasim Luca à Paris (Bucharest: Editions Vinea Icare, 2006). Luca’s letter, which Sarane Alexandrian kindly made available to me, was published for the first time in my Gherasim Luca (Paris: Editions Oxus, 2004).

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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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