Gorgon misses podium by six points

Surrealist Survey on Mythological Creatures, VVV, nos. 2-3, 1943, p. 62.

Concerning the Present Day Relative Attractions of Various Creatures in Mythology & Legend

Having asked a few friends of both sexes to classify fifteen creatures of diverse mythological derivation in order of their attraction, we present the following table. The results obtained give us some basis for judging their contemporary relative attraction. The order of choice was as follows:

1. Sphinx;
2. Chimera;
3. Minotaur;
4. Gorgon;
5. Unicorn;
6. Vampire;
7. Succubus or Incubus;
8. Siren;
9. Bloody Nun;
10. Werewolf;
11. Narcissus;
12. Homonculus;
13. Dragon;
14. Circe;
15. Galatea.

The very definite preeminence of the Sphinx is evident, since not only does it come at the head of the general classification, but also at the head of the masculine as well as the feminine classification. Elsewhere the two viewpoints, masculine and feminine, have resulted in very different choices. For example the Vampire, the Werewolf, and the Siren were feminine preferences. The masculine antipathy for the Dragon should be noted in contrast to the feminine antipathy to the Bloody Nun and Circe, etc.

Surrealist Survey on Mythological Creatures, VVV, nos. 2-3, 1943, p. 63.

VVV, nos. 2-3, 1943, cover.

The participants in the enquiry, published in the Surrealist magazine VVV in 1943, were:

Lionel Abel, André Breton, Nicolas Calas, Georges Duthuit, Max Ernst, Brion Gysin, David Hare, André Masson, Matta, Robert Motherwell, Harold Rosenberg, Kurt Seligmann, Yves Tanguy, Patrick Waldberg,

Jacqueline Breton, Leonora Carrington, Susanna Hare, Ann Matta, Rose Masson, Arlette Seligmann, and Kay Tanguy.

The survey is reproduced in Penelope Rosemont (ed.), Surrealist Women: An International Anthology (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998), pp. 166-7.

One thought on “Gorgon misses podium by six points

  1. I’m with Carrington on the unicorn! But I’m interested in what Dorothea Tanning might have chosen had she been in Surrealist inner circles at this point. Maybe the siren on account of her fascination with mermaids?

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