Breton’s dreams and ours: Welcome to Magically Real

(This call may be monitored by the subconscious.)

In Tieck’s creepy tale from the late 18th Century, Der blonde Eckbert, a Knight tells a story of a magical bird and dog to a dear friend whom he kills immediately afterwards.  The friend keeps on showing up in different guises til Eckbert loses his mind.

The late Roberto Bolaño tells a strange story of a fascist skywriter, who doggedly appears in different places, etching his famous bad poetry across the tainted Latin American sky.

Aimee Bender writes about de-evolving boyfriends, mothers who give birth to grandmothers, and lemon cake that tastes of the psychic trouble of the baker.

All around us, the unreal spins its strange webs:  Game of Thrones, The Trueblood romances, Scott Pilgrim, and the hectic animated films of the Italian artist named Blu.  Tangled in these stories, we think we ignore magic, as we read the paper, or increasingly view the fraught truths of a complicated world on the internet.  But the unreal and its siblings — the fairy-tale as brought to us by the German Romantics, surrealism, expressionism, and magical realism, now supplemented/enhanced by the technologies of gaming and the aesthetics of anime — have never been more alive to us than now.

In the Surrealist Manifesto, Andre Breton rejects the “reign of logic” and announces the primacy, in life and in art, of dreams.

What would Breton think of today’s strange creative utterances?  Lady Gaga’s performative lies?  Pan’s Labyrinth?  Ghost Hunters? Santa Con?

He would smile.  The artist dreams, he would say.  And when s/he does, the artist works.

Magically Real interrogates this phenomenon.  And celebrates it.

Welcome and fruitful dreaming.

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