The Haunted Self: Surrealism, Psychoanalysis, Subjectivity

by David Lomas

Hardcover, 2000




New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, c2000.


The question, "Who am I?" resounded throughout the surrealist movement. The exploration of dreams and the unconscious prompted surrealists to reject the notion of a unified, indivisible self by revealing the subject to be haunted by otherness and instability. In this original book David Lomas explores the surrealist concepts of the self and subjectivity from a psychoanalytic viewpoint. Employing a series of case studies devoted to individual artists, Lomas arrives at a radically new account of surrealist art and its cultural and intellectual roots.Weaving together psychoanalytic and historical material, the author analyzes works by such artists as Ernst, Dali, Masson, Miro, and Picasso with regard to such themes as automatism, hysteria, the uncanny, and the abject. Lomas focuses closely on individual artworks, examines the specific circumstances in which they were produced, and offers new insights into the artists and their projects as well as the theories of Bataille, Breton, and others. Lomas demonstrates the powerful connection between the history of psychoanalysis and the history of surrealism, and along the way he shows the unique value of psychoanalytic theory as a tool for the art historian.… (more)



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