Monday, October 11, 2021

Automatic Writing, Surrealism, and Spiritualism after World War One

For several years in my poetry and songwriting course, I've been using an automatic-writing exercise the students always mention as one of their favorites. I've always presented automatic writing in terms of surrealism and the 1919 work of André Breton and Philippe Soupault, but in preparing for this morning's session this weekend, I looked for other ways to talk about it and stumbled on its role in spiritualism as a means of channeling the voices of the dead. That thread eventually led me back to literature and the spiritualism of Arthur Conan Doyle and W. B. Yeats, especially immediately after World War I, across the English Channel from the future surrealists. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 11 October 2021)

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