Dream, myth, delusion, and reality collide in this surrealist navigation of the national security state.
Our times are not just weird, but literally surreal: we live in a paranoid, increasingly authoritarian culture in which the real, the presumed and the purported are indistinguishable strands of a dense hallucinatory web of mediated spectacles. Surrealpolitik takes up cultural theorist Mark Fisher’s challenge to expose capitalist realism’s 'realism' as nothing of the sort.
To subject the symbolic order to a surrealist mode of inquiry is to transgress taboos, reveal biases and inconsistencies, test assumptions and investigate the extent to which the real is, like our dreams - a fungible projection of our unconscious expectations. The nexus of dreams, hyperreality, paranoia, totalitarianism, terror, art, myth and culture is where realpolitik becomes the surrealpolitik of the title.
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"Amazing...A fierce, lucid intervention against the regime of an exclusionary 'realism' which, in its marginalization of the dreamlife, not only starves us with a deadly-dull aesthetics but forms a lid clamped on the imaginative urgencies required to fight our way into a post-capitalist, post-surveillance future." ~ Jonathan Lethem, via email
Novelist and cultural critic John Schoneboom confronts the weirdness of modernity with humour, originality and insight. Wide ranging and engagingly written, Surrealpolitik argues that today’s consumerist surveillance state is not merely surreal in the everyday sense, but can be understood through the concerns of the original Surrealist art movement. Surprising and at times unsettling, it’s a consistently thought-provoking intervention in the debate of our time. ~ Andrew Crumey (novelist), via email