A Dictionary of Symbols by J. E. Cirlot

By J. E. Cirlot

People, it's stated, are symbolizing animals. At each level of civilization, humans have depended on symbolic expression, and advances in technological know-how and know-how have purely elevated our dependence on symbols. The language of symbols is taken into account a technology, and this informative quantity bargains an imperative device within the learn of symbology. it may be used as a reference or just browsed for excitement. lots of its entries — these on structure, mandala, numbers, serpent, water, and zodiac, for instance — might be learn as autonomous essays. The power of symbology hasn't ever been better: a necessary a part of the traditional arts of the Orient and of the Western medieval traditions, symbolism underwent a 20th-century revival with the examine of the subconscious, either without delay within the box of desires, visions, and psychoanalysis, and in some way in artwork and poetry. a large viewers awaits the help of this dictionary in elucidating the symbolic worlds encountered in either the humanities and the historical past of rules.

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He also encountered the ‒ already oft mentioned ‒ book by Viatte. Lévi, whose publications kick-started occultism in France, suddenly appeared on Breton’s radar and stayed. I would argue, therefore, that an ‘occultation’ of Surrealism, in the sense of a direct confrontation with and deep interest in the developments of historical occultism in France, occurred around this time. The developments discussed in Chapters One, Two and Three, in turn, deal with movements that belong to the category of occultism in a broader sense, such as Spiritualism, popular somnambulism and psychical research.

Several artists other than Breton turned to, or deepened their study of, occultisms, including twentieth-century developments such as the occult fourth dimension and Gurdjieffian thought. This did not influence Breton at that time; he, for his part, was delving into Christian mysticism and heresy, as part of his decisive turn towards the heterodox that was prompted by rising political tensions and the eventual outbreak of the Second World War. The war forced him into exile, but also towards a more serious consideration of occultism.

The sleeping sessions: Lucid dreaming The Magnetic Fields was only the beginning. 54 I argue that this climate proved the impetus for the sleeping sessions; that is, for the exploration of a particular mental state akin to dreaming. Early Surrealism’s focus upon dreams was fuelled by Max Ernst, who had joined the (proto-) surrealist collective just before the time of slumbers and who was deeply involved in dream-work. A graduate in psychology and philosophy, besides art, and very interested in the psychoanalytical theories of Freud ‒ whom he could read in the German original, unlike the French surrealists ‒ and others in psychiatry, Ernst practised a form of auto-psychoanalysis.

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