Who has been tampering with these pianos?: The surrealist writings of Montagu O’Reilly (Wayne Andrews).

Hugill, A (2013) 'Who has been tampering with these pianos?: The surrealist writings of Montagu O’Reilly (Wayne Andrews).' Papers of Surrealism, 10. ISSN 1750-1954

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This article makes a case for Wayne Andrews as a neglected and original voice in American surrealism. The article begins by examining his periodical La revue de l'élite (1930-33) (later La revue intime and Demain) as evidence of his early interest in European avant-gardism. Next, it offers close readings of the short stories he wrote under the nom de plume “Montagu O'Reilly.” Within overtly surrealist narratives, these stories conceal a series of encounters between a sickly European high culture, characterised by consumptive girls, imperilled aristocrats, failing pianos and a vigorous American materialism, represented by thrusting bankers, ostentatious socialites, gleaming technologies. They provide a novel twist on some of the familiar tropes of surrealism, but also reveal something of how its revolutionary vision was subtly undermined during its transatlantic passage. In particular, the article discusses Andrews/O’Reilly’s fascination with the outmoded and the uncanny and how they are modified through their staged encounters with American wealth. It concludes with a discussion of Andrews' later works, including his unfinished history of surrealism, The Surrealist Parade (1988).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Divisions: Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2014 15:30
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:34
References: George Lensing, ‘The Switzerland of the Mind: Stevens' Invention of Europe,’ in Wallace Stevens Across the Atlantic, eds. Bart Eeckhout and Edward Ragg, Palgrave MacMillan, London, 2008. Wayne Andrews, The Surrealist Parade, New Directions, New York, 1988, Eugene Jolas et al, 'Manifesto for The Revolution of the Word,’ transition 16-17, June 1929, 12. Céline Mansanti, ‘Between Modernisms: transition (1927-1938),’ in The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines, Vol. II, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012. Eugene Jolas, Critical Writings, 1924-1951, Northwestern University Press. Wayne Andrews, Siegfried's Curse; the German Journey from Nietzsche to Hesse, Atheneum, New York, 1972, 279-280. Montagu O'Reilly, Who has been Tampering with these Pianos?, Atlas Press London, 1988. Walter Benjamin, ‘Surrealism: The Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia,’ in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings 1921-1934, eds. Michael W. Jennings, Howard Eiland and Gary Smith, Harvard University Press, New York, 1999, 210. Hal Foster, Compulsive Beauty, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA., 1993, 162. André Breton, Mad Love, trans. Mary Ann Caws, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1987. Freud, Sigmund. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. Basic Books, New York, 1962, 19.
 Georges Bataille, Literature and Evil, trans. Alistair Hamilton, Marion Boyars, London, 1957. André Breton, ‘Second Manifesto of Surrealism,’ Manifestoes of Surrealism, trans. Richard Seaver and Helen R. Lane, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, 1969. Dickran Tashjian, A Boatload of Madmen: Surrealism and the American Avant-Garde 1920-1950, Thames and Hudson, London, 2001. John Bernard Myers, ‘Cornell: The Enchanted Wanderer,’ Art in America Vol. 61 No. 1 (1973): 76. Juan Suárez, Pop Modernism: Noise and the Reinvention of the Everyday, University of Illinois Press, Chicago, 2007. Robin Walz, Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris, University of California Press, San Francisco, Bryant F Tolles, ‘Architecture in New England: A Photographic History by Wayne Andrews: Review,’ The New England Quarterly 46. 3 (1973): 487-489 David Clay Large, ‘Siegfried's Curse: The German Journey from Nietzsche to Hesse by Wayne Andrews: Review,’ Journal of the American Academy of Religion 43. 3 (1975): 635-636. Anthony Vidler, ‘Fantasy, the Uncanny, and Surrealist Theories of Architecture,’ Papers of Surrealism 1, 2003, 3.
 Wayne Andrews, American Gothic: Its Origins, its Trials, its Triumphs, Vintage Books, New York,1975, 124.
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/1654
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