67 巻 (2016) 2 号 p. 49-60
This paper examines the political situation of surrealism in Czechoslovakia in 1930s. In Czechoslovakia, Surrealism was developed in the close relationship with communism. For ideological and other reasons, the Prague movement emphasized a dialectical way of thinking. In other words, Surrealism was considered to be a process whereby reality and the self were apprehended through the synergistic and dialectical relationship between deliberate (conscious) and involuntary (unconscious) acts. In addition, surrealism was undergirded by the rule of “recounting truth”. According to Michel Foucault, “recounting truth” involves defining an autonomous position vis-a-vis one's relationship with truth – in other words, it is a technique of governing the self. Karel Teige describes Surrealism as an artistic and practical means for revolutionaries to establish the self. However, attempting to connect Communism and Surrealism is forced: while the Communist ideology attempts to enforce one extreme form of “truth” in order to control people, the “truth” presented by Surrealism is something ever-changing and varying from person to person. By linking Surrealism and Socialist realism, Teige attempted to suggest that Communist culture should develop diversity and complexity. However, with Stalinism wielding power in Czechoslovakia, that idea was only possible for a brief time.