Throwback Thursday – Proverbs for Today


I posted this originally in August 2015 and that definitely feels like more than 5 years ago! Continuing on the theme of surreal this week, these surrealist proverbs were published in 1925. Both men survived the horrors of WW1 – Paul Éluard worked at a military hospital for much of the war, where he was assigned to write letters to dead soldier’s families. He wrote up to 150 per day.

The text of my original post is below. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

“When I think of the Surrealist movement, visual artists like Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp come to mind first. Moreover, many of the aleatory (random/surrealist) creativity techniques I have experimented with on this blog (see here and here for two examples) are described online primarily as visual art techniques. But the Surrealists weren’t just concerned with the visual arts, they included a whole group of dedicated poets and writers – Paul Éluard and Benjamin Péret among them. On a recent visit to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, I found (and quickly purchased) a book on Surrealist games. In there I found these examples of Éluard and Péret’s “Proverbs for Today”  taken from their 1925 publication 152 Proverbes Mis Au Goût Du Jour. These could certainly be taken as monostiches in their own right or combined to make a longer surrealist poem. I think the Surrealists would approve. Enjoy! Photograph and composition by me.”


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