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DRAMA: Modernism to Post-Modernism



Surrealism emphasised one aspect of Freud's teachings: the importance of the subconscious. According to the Surrealists, significant truths are those deeply buried in the psych, suppressed by the conscious mind. In order to expose these 'truths', the conscious mind must be challenged.

Apollinaire argued that when man wanted to simulate movement he invented the wheel and not a pair of mechanical legs. This same principal is applicable to art. Through a rejection of the concept of a mirroring a familiar and recognisable reality, a naturalistic `slice of life' and by laying claim to the powers of the imagination new, and better ways of expressing reality could be found.



During and after his convalescence in Paris he continued to arrange new exhibitions and staged his play 'The Breast of Tiresias' in 1917. Apollinaire called the play Surrealist, making the term known. It combined his own sexual obsessions with a satirical exploitation of Greek legend and ironic preoccupation with the low birth rate in 19c-20c France. The Breast of Tiresias was made into an opera by Francis Poulenc. The Surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico made in 1914 two paintings in tribute to Apollinaire. In Portrait of Apollinaire as a Premonition the poet uses sunglasses - he is blind.

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Jessica Lane,
Modern Drama B Assignment