The acclaimed author of On Changing the World examines the ways in which surrealism intersects with a variety of revolutionary political approaches.
In this expanded edition, the luminary critical theorist dismisses the limited notion of surrealism as a purely artistic movement, repositioning surrealism as a force in radical political ideologies, ranging from utopian ideals to Marxism and situationism.
Taking its title from André Breton’s essay “Arcane 17,” which casts the star as the searing firebrand of rebellion, Michael Löwy’s provocative work spans many perspectives. These include surrealist artists who were deeply interested in Marxism and anarchism (Breton among them), as well as Marxists who were deeply interested in surrealism (Walter Benjamin in particular).
Probing the dialectics of innovation, diversity, continuity, and unity throughout surrealism’s international presence, Morning Star also incorporates analyses of Claude Cahun, Guy Debord, Pierre Naville, José Carlos Mariátegui and others, accompanied by numerous reproductions of surrealist art. An extraordinarily rich collection, Morning Star promises to ignite new dialogues regarding the very nature of dissent.
Praise for On Changing the World
“His collection of essays, combining scholarship with passion, impresses by its sweep and scope.” —Daniel Singer, author of Prelude to Revolution
“Michael Löwy is unquestionably a tremendous figure in the decades-long attempt to recover an authentic revolutionary tradition from the wreckage of Stalinism, and these essays are very often powerful examples of this process.” —Dominic Alexander, Counterfire