Henri Lefebvre- Critique of everyday life: Volume 1: Introduction (2008)

  • Reading this chapter, I found it quite strange to see the way it developed and the opinions expressed in it.
  • “But after 1900 immoralism became the order of the day.” (pg 104)
  • The whole piece was about how the common man seemed to disassociate himself from the every day life and try initially to romantisie it through literature to make it more bearable, but with the rise of surrealism, create a whole new reality instead.
  • It is suggested that during the post war period of the early 20th century, that for man, “the bizarre is a mild stimulant for the nerves and the mind-” (pg 119) which was needed to counter act the depressivness of the mundane.
  • However, if the bizarre of the real world didn’t do this, they would proceed to find a stronger stimulant and this was done by replacing real imagery with one more satisfying.
  • “For a century now this state of mental confusion has been manifesting itself clearly in modern art.” (pg 120)
  • It is thought that with the introduction of surrealism, the modern man is exposed to unrealistic fantasies and as a result misses out on life. People who weren’t part of the bourgeoisie was obsessed with obtaining the over the top level of life they had.
  • I was interested to see that towards the end of the text they seemed to imply the need to connect with the real world again and how the fear of death and life shouldn’t stop people from living in.
  • Of course having been exposed to such horrors of a war could definitely cause people to seek something other than reality. “Do you think that is a reason for me to stop living, loving,” (pg 125)
  • This is where the concept of hysteria might come into play. Maybe the idea of trying to create a new reality could be a consequence of mass hysteria? and over reaction of a near panic like state of people who didn’t know how to express in it other ways?
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