Surrealist Masculinities: Gender Anxiety and Aesthetics of Post-World War I Reconstruction in France by ProQuest


The overall thesis of Amy Lyford's Surrealist Masculinities redefines the interwar sexual divide. Lyford examines how masculinities served to critique France's "return to order" in the years following the trauma of a bloody conflict that was the "Great War." If well-established views of surrealism have focused on female dismemberment in works of the 20s and 30s, Lyford's examination of rare archival images in addition to commonly referenced works-within an explicit feminist tradition-leads to a novel demonstration of how artists and writers tried to undermine notions of bourgeois progress. While some of those foreshadowing the rise of fascism and consumer capitalism did so knowingly, as in the example of Andr Kertsz, others such as Andr Breton or Man Ray acted in part unwittingly to further misogynistic views.

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