What are some of the similar aspects (traits) of Surrealism and Post-Surrealism that can be found in Louis-René des Forêts’s book The Children’s Room?

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Aspects of Surrealism and Post-Surrealism that can be found in Louis-René des Forêts’s collection of fiction The Children’s Room include an interest in the unconscious and the irrational. Surrealism tended to spotlight the ridiculous qualities of everyday life. Surrealist artists often tried to capture the ludicrous elements of the ostensibly banal. One famous work of Surrealism, René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images, presents a simple image of a pipe. However, by writing “this is not a pipe” in French under the image, Magritte defamiliarizes the image and makes the viewer question the reason for the pipe and text.

In The Bavard, the novella from The Children’s Room, the narrator doesn’t come across as rational. The narrator is telling a story that the reader isn’t supposed to believe and that, sure enough, never happened. In reality, the narrator never met the woman, was never beat up by her boyfriend, and did not have a moment of transcendence thanks to the choir. The narrator’s deception makes it possible to question his rationale for telling the story. It’s reasonable to question the reader’s logic, too, since the reader indulges the narrator by listening to his yarn.

For Surrealists, the mind and the unconscious were of great interest. Surrealist works showed how the mind could impose itself on reality and form alternate worlds. In The Bavard, the narrator’s mind produces the situation. The narrator is free from the physical world. Through his psyche, he creates the story.

Like Surrealists, Post-Surrealists emphasized the subject and the sequences and processes by which an individual relates to the world. There are Post-Surrealist qualities in “The Great Moments of a Singer,” as the singer tries to calculate how his talent arrived and then disappeared.

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