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romantically scarred lovers died too. As Luca put it in La mort morte (The Dead Death, 1945): If it is true, as is claimed that after death man continues a phantom existence I’ll let you know Death had hitched a ride on the surrealist rocket early on. In 1925, André Breton asked the question, "Suicide: Is it a solution?" in the first issue of La révolution surréaliste, and mortality was an obsession with the Romanian avantgarde, who took the lead over all of Europe in dada and Surrealism. In all, more than 30 Surrealist poets and artists wrote suicide notes (like Urmuz, a Romanian proto-surrealist, who shot himself in the head in a restaurant), suicides that were defiant gestures in response to a disappointing, boring, vulgar and banal world whose inhabitants were less interested in the subconsciousness and dream works than they were in material possessions.5 Luca's own ultimate statement on the subject was La mort morte, a personal account of five non-Oedipal suicide attempts (strangulation by the aid of a necktie, Russian roulette, stabbing, poison, self-asphyxiation) each delineated by a different farewell note and a commentary afterwards that depicts his struggle to rob death of its anonymity, such as: I can no longer bear this life full of privation. Causes of my death not to be looked for, there are no guilty, not even myself. I forsake life without any regrets. I ask for restraint at my funeral cremation if possible. Flowers for me not to be brought. Your tears, your perfume, your despair, my punishment! O, my darling!                                                                                                               5

Cf. Valery Oisteanu, “An Un-alphabetic Encyclopedia of Dada and Surrealistic Suicides,” BigCityLit.org (2013).

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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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