Surrealist Techniques Applied to Creative Writing

Surrealist Techniques Applied to Creative Writing

The object of surrealism is to expand reality through imagination, divine change, psychological exploration, eroticism, absurdist juxtapositiojn of images, and amorality. The goal is to liberate the artist and the viewer from the normal confines of their reality maps and expand the view far beyond.

How can we apply various surrealist techniques to creative writing?

  • Aerography: a 3-dimensional object is used as a stencil.
  • Automatic writing / Automatic poetry: suppress conscious control over the creative process, let the unconscious mind have control.
  • Bulletism: shooting ink at a blank piece of paper. Similar to the dada hat poem, you could cut out a bunch of words and put them in a jar, shake well.
  • Pour them out onto a table and see if any of the juxtapositions of words inspire. Use the words to assemble a poem.
  • Collage: assemblage of different forms to create a new whole.
  • Coulage: put together strings of magnetic poetry words without looking.
  • Cubomania: xerox pages from a book and cut them into squares. Reassemble the squares into new pages without regard to the text.
  • Cut-up technique: cut up words and reassemble.
  • Decalcomania: black out words in a book to tell a new story or create a poem out of the words left.
  • Entopic graphomania: put some black ink on a toothbrush and flick drops of ink onto a page of words. Connect the dots. Look for interesting word juxtapositions and/or use the words hit by the ink dots to form a poem.
  • Étrécissements: xerox a page from a book and cut out words or sentences. The results are achieved by cutting away parts of the page to encourage a new poem or story from what's left behind.
  • Exquisite corpse: each person writes a word or line on a piece of paper, folds it to conceal what they wrote, and hands it over to the next person.
  • Frottage: (use a pencil to make a rubbing over a textured surface) (This is a hard one. You guys have any ideas?)
  • Fumage: Hold a page of text over a candle and let the smoke create patterns on the paper. Careful not to hold it so close as to catch fire. Use the words not obscured by smoke to create a new piece of writing.
  • Grattage: cover a page of text with wet paint. Scrape the paint off randomly and use the exposed words to make a new poem/text.
  • Involuntary sculpture: manipulate a page of text - for example, by rolling and unrolling or crumpling and uncrumpling it so that as the page disintigrates, words are obscured. Use the remaining words to form a new text.
  • Latent news: cut a newspaper article into individual words and rapidly reassemble it.
  • Outagraphy: (they would take a photograph and cut out what the photograph is "of"), similarly, you can take a poem or text and cut out any words having to do with the subject-matter, or what the text is "about".
  • Paranoiac-critical method: invoking a paranoid state (fear) before writing.
  • Parsemage: fill the sink or a dish tub with water and scatter charcoal or colored chalk dust over the surface. Press your paper with text just against the surface so that text is obscured. Use the remaining text to inspire new writing or piece together the unobscured words to create a new text.
  • Triptography: (roll of film used three times), similarly - you can take several pages of writing and xerox them onto the same piece of paper.

Inspired by Surrealist techniques @ wikipedia