The Windmills of Humanity: On Culture and Surrealism in the Manipulated World

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Philosopher and critic Ivan Svitak was among the leading Czech intellectuals during the lead-up to the "Prague Spring" of 1968, when tentative reforms by Communist Party leaders in Czechoslovakia sparked a mass movement for democratic socialism. By the time a Soviet-led invasion put an end to this movement and forced Svitak into exile, Svitak had influenced a generation of politicized youth with his works of Marxist humanist philosophy, social commentary, cultural critique, unconventional poetry, and satirical prose. Taking up Svitak's largely-unrealized proposals for publication, editor Joseph Grim Feinberg has collected Svitak's most provocative writing on aesthetic theory, interspersing it with a selection of Svitak's poetry and creative prose. In the resulting volume, Svitak explores the possibility of a world in which art will be "made by all," and he defends humanity's quixotic right to fight against old illusions so that new illusions might be born."
Publication Date: 
February 20, 2015