Reincarnation

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Here’s an afterthought to the whole anteater business posted about here, here and here.

Franklin Rosemont (1943-2009), co-founder of the Chicago Surrealist Group with his wife Penelope, wrote about their meetings with André Breton and the other remaining members of the Surrealist movement in Paris in 1965:

Penelope and I were asked at one of the meetings to suggest a title for the new journal. Spontaneously we both proposed Grand Tamanoir (‘Giant Anteater’). We had been to the old Jardin des Plantes zoo earlier in the day, and had mused together over the mythological implications of this wonderful beast that could figure as Breton’s totemic sign. The first issue of the new journal did not appear till April 1967, and it was titled L’Archibras (a term of Fourier’s). But it contained a photograph, selected by Breton for inclusion in that issue, of an object he had made by putting together two pieces of rustic wood that Elisa had found at Saint-Cirq La Popie and which he entitled Grand Tamanoir.

Within a few hours of his dying, moreover – as I learned only long afterwards – the newspapers announced that an anteater had to be chased from a Paris airfield.

In André Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, edited and introduced by Franklin Rosemont, 1978.

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