October 3 ~  The Imagination Alone Dada: Art & Anti-Art

"It is always the imagination alone which is at work." ~ Louis Aragon

joie de vivre

A man of imagination, French writer Louis Aragon (1897-1982) was born on this day and along with poet Andre Breston, led Dada, the Paris surrealism movement.

"Love is made by two people, in different kinds of solitude," he said. "It can be in a crowd, but in an oblivious crowd."

Aragon's acclaimed 1924 novel, Le Paysan de Paris (Paris Peasant), captured the surrealist concept of "the daily marvelous," a sense of wonder produced by the unexpected or improbable.

"Name the greatest of all inventors?" asked humorist Mark Twain. "Accident."

For Aragon and Breston, the word "surrealism" meant super realism.  Surrealists raged against reality and created a new world of dreams and imagination. Forms and images were created by unthinkable impulses and blind feelings...by accident. Aragon explained, "the passionate use of the narcotic image... forces you to revise the entire universe."

With brainstorming, imagery, and word association, surrealists celebrated Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical psychology of the unconscious mind. Realities created in art and literature were beautiful because of their complete freedom and unexpectedness.

There is no end to the magic of creativity.  "In a moment of grace, we can grasp eternity in the palm of our hand. This is the gift given to creative individuals who can identify with the mysteries of life through art," explained French mime and master creator Marcel Marceau.

An accident might just create a marvelous invention.