Surrealist bestiary.

“The flora and fauna of Surrealism are inadmissible.”

(André Breton, Manifesto of Surrealism, 1924)

“The surrealist bestiary gives pride of place, above all other species, to animals that are sui generis and have an aberrant or decadent appearance such as the platypus, the praying mantis, or the anteater.”

(André Breton, Caught in the Act, 1949)

All three photographs (star-nosed mole, anteaters and Gila monsters on barrel cactus) are newspaper clippings which Breton kept in an envelope entitled “STAR-NOSED MOLE”.

4 thoughts on “Surrealist bestiary.

  1. I have discovered your blog with great pleasure. Nice surprises such as Man Ray’s films, Mimi’s letter to Breton…. Thanks for this!

  2. The star nosed mole is amazing – the number of nerve endings packed into its nose makes even human private parts look unsensitive by comparison, and it takes sensory samples of its environment a staggering number of times per second. At a far greater speed than the overwhelming majority of advanced electronic sensors. Hopefully one day it will be possible to create electronic equipment that samples data and reacts at similarly extreme speeds. That said, if I recall correctly, its digging ability is spectacular too within its wet environment.

  3. My chapbook, BESTIARY, has just been published by Obscure Publications, so I was in the mood for this. After researching the ancient and medieval bestiaries, I decided to make up my own beasts. Keep mapping the marvellous!

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