The Beribboned Bomb

Surrealism was ostensibly directed at the emancipation of the human spirit, but it represented only male aspirations and fantasies until a number of women artists began to redefine its agenda in the later 1930s.The Beribboned Bomb: The Image of Woman in Male Surrealist Art addresses the former, using a "thick description" of the historically specific circumstances which required the male Surrealists to manufacture a sexual reputation of narcissism and misogyny. These circumstances were determined by "hegemonic masculinity," an ideological construct which had little to do with individual masculinities. In male Surrealism, the "beribboned bomb" signified something both attractive and volatile, a specific instance of the Surrealist principle of convulsive beauty. In hegemonic masculinity, similar devices served as metaphors of the sexuality all men were supposed to possess. The intersection of these two axes produced an imagery of unrepentant violence.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The Beribboned Bomb 1
CONTENTS 8
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 9
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 12
INTRODUCTION 14
1 A SYNOPTIC HISTORY OF SURREALISM 38
2 SURREALISM AS CULTURAL AUTOEROTICISM 52
3 TROPES OF AUTOEROTICISM 60
3.1 Surrealism's History of the Mind 62
3.2 The Psychic Grab-Bag 64
3.3 Freudian Glosses 72
3.4 Rereading Freud and Reading re Freud 88
3.5 Meta-Collages of Some Other Mental Illnesses 97
4 TROPES OF PERVERSION 106
4.1 Literary Origins of Surrealist Misogyny 107
4.2 Automatism as Secretarial Science 108
4.3 Nietzsche 119
4.4 Baudelaire 130
4.5 From Hoffmann to Freud 142
4.6 Sade and the Sadeian Personality 162
4.7 Lautréamont 194
5 TROPES OF NOVELTY 198
5.1 Tradition and the Ineffable States 199
5.2 Irreligion: Anti-clericalism and the Black Mass 204
5.3 Sacrifice and Sade: Bataille's Contribution 214
5.4 Agriculture and Earth-Mothers 222
5.5 Alchemy and Androgynes 243
6 MEN'S WOMAN, WOMEN'S WOMAN 256
6.1 "Our Polished Members" 257
6.2 An Hysterical Interlude 277
6.3 "A Ribbon Around a Bomb" 290
7 CONCLUSION 306
BIBLIOGRAPHY 312
A 336
INDEX 336
B 337
C 338
D 340
E 341
F 342
G 342
I 343
H 343
K 344
J 344
L 345
M 345
N 346
P 347
O 347
R 349
Q 349
S 350
T 352
U 352
V 352
W 353
Z 353