Touched by Surrealism: reflections on a new sensory approach to literature
Saturday 20 December 2014
(Article published in RELIEF 8.2 2014)
In this paper, I discuss a new sensory approach to literature. Literature might be studied in order to trace the perceptual effects of cultural, political and technological transformations. First, I develop a historicizing method, which maps the sensory practices and discourses of a certain period and analyzes their appropriation in contemporaneous literature. Next, I demonstrate the fruitfulness of this approach by taking Surrealism as a case study, focusing on the role of touch or 'haptics' in the works of Benjamin Péret. The concluding remarks will serve to hint at the new routes of research which this sensory approach discloses.