Poetry, Painting, Semiotics and Anthropology in Vincent Bounoure (or About some Limits of Literary Criticism)

Andrea D'Urso


This paper is the first to introduce the discussion about Vincent Bounoure’s work into the international academic frame. This surrealist of the so-called “post-WWII generation” has always been underestimated, neglected and even ignored by criticism and historiography, inside and outside university, because of his choice not to follow Jean Schuster’s decision to declare the end of “historical surrealism” in 1969. Indeed, that was the assumed official version repeated and spread worldwide by the most famous Histories of surrealism as if it had been largely approved by the movement, whereas Bounoure and many of Breton’s friends decided to continue surrealist collective activity, self-occulted at first and revealed afterwards, in collaboration with other surrealist groups all around the world.

Since it is impossible to discuss within the bounds imposed by this conference the historiographical matter and also some technical features of Bounoure’s masterpieces, we will rather introduce his works, chiefly by following their chronology and relating them to the three great dimensions in which he expressed himself: his poetry, in relation to surrealist painters with whom he wrote most of his verses; the semiotics of the collective work La civilisation surréaliste he directed by promoting the collaboration with the Prague surrealist group; the surrealist anthropology he evidenced in his theoretical and ethnographic essays on the culture and the arts of the so-called primitive civilisations.

In the end, we will show that Bounoure’s multi-faceted creation overturns all the Frontiers, Boundaries and Limits that literary criticism – thus demonstrating its own bounds – apply to surrealism.


André Breton; Vincent Bounoure; Surrealism; Civilisation surréaliste; Récits parallèles; Semiotics; Anthropology


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/195

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17656

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