Not that I have the reading history to have (humbly stated) developed a rich opinion on the subject of surrealist writing.
However, I’ve perused my fair share of works. You can find short examples at www.pankmagazine.com and www.wordriot.org. Basically, the gist of surrealism goes back to the dadaism movement: which is believed to have been a sort of abstract art reaction–a rejection of logical perspective–to the “rationality” mindset that led to WWI (forgive my brevity on the subject: I’m by far no expert).
But I got to driving through North Carolina the other day. If you’ve ever spent any time there at all, especially near the Raleigh-Durham area, you can see three things: strip malls, vinyl siding, and cedar chips. And that’s just about it. It’s as if the entire state were built to look the same throughout–to resemble the monotone repetition of what a drop ceiling looks like.
Over and over and over; the endless rank and file of “Americanization” (I cringe to call it that) has overtaken the great First in Flight State of North Carolina such that it has become an endless, suburban sprawl.
There’s a reason cities like Winston and Salem, and Raleigh and Durham, became Winston-Salem and Raleigh-Durham–the once independent cities just “sprawled” themselves until they were hopelessly interconnected.
Anyway, that kind of thing, I believe, is what led to surrealism.
While in North Carolina, I decided to turn on the radio. On one station, I heard an endless talk show in which two people discussed the interest prime, real estate, the stock market, and a myriad of other (probably misconstrued) topics of modern economics. Changing the station, I heard Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.
And that’s when epiphany hit me: when people feel oppressed by the order of something, the only proper response is chaos. This pattern has repeated itself throughout history: from dadaism to grunge, we have something to learn from the lessons of producing art from the necessary chaos that is connected–like yin and yang–to excessive order.
I hereby predict the downfall of the Great State of North Carolina.
I will continue this discussion further later on in future blogs, but for now I’ve come to discover that the value of surrealist literature lies in the need to destroy preconceived notions of thought, and replace them with ideas that are hard enough to wrap your head around that you have to put reason aside for a moment to (even try) to understand what is being conveyed.
It is then that things start to make sense in a way that they never have before.
- Publix to open store in Winston-Salem (myfox8.com)
- 5 Things to Know About North Carolina BBQ (williams-sonoma.com)