+0

1. Does "Breton was a “juvenile victim” involved in an Oedipal game" mean "Breton was a young man who was a victim of the Oedipal game"?


2. Does "an “Icarian pose” assumed less to undo the law than to provoke its punishment" mean "an “Breton was a high-flying man who assumed the breaking of the law less important than the punishment that comes after it"?


3. A dichotomy happens between two things. Can you understand what these two things are in the following text?


Context:

A number of artists’ work at this time, from Andres Serrano to Rona Pondick, engaged in a discourse of bodily fluids, which caused questions to be asked about the historical effectivity of such work. The contrast between these two artists evokes somewhat the contrast art historian Hal Foster makes between the Surrealism of André Breton, artist and writer, and philosopher Georges Bataille, Surrealism being an historical precedent of abject art where the desublimatory trajectory of the body was probed to challenge orthodox categories. According to Foster, Breton thought that ‘Bataille was an “excrement-philosopher” who refused to rise above big toes, mere matter, sheer ***, to raise the low to the high. For Bataille, Breton was a “juvenile victim” involved in an Oedipal game, an “Icarian pose” assumed less to undo the law than to provoke its punishment.’ Foster elaborates Surrealism as pivoting on these dichotomies of pure filth and acting dirty.

+0
catttt1. Does "Breton was a “juvenile victim” involved in an Oedipal game" mean "Breton was a young man who was a victim of the Oedipal game"?

Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. Bataille says that Breton was involved in matters as shocking and disgusting as that, but he also seems to suggest that Breton had an immature (juvenile) approach to such subjects.

catttt2. Does "an “Icarian pose” assumed less to undo the law than to provoke its punishment" mean "an “Breton was a high-flying man who assumed the breaking of the law less important than the punishment that comes after it"?

It means he had no objection to the law, so he did not wish to nullify the law, nor did he wish that the law did not exist. Rather, what was more important to Breton was to break the law so that he could be punished for doing so. Apparently, Bataille believes this was the attitude of Icarus in his attempt to fly, so he uses that as a comparison.

catttt3. A dichotomy happens between two things. Can you understand what these two things are in the following text?

They are mentioned immediately after "dichotomies" (which I think should be "dichotomy"), namely "pure filth" and "acting dirty".

I may be wrong on this one because I don't see exactly how that's a dichotomy, but I don't see any other way of interpreting the given text.

CJ

Comments  
catttt1. Does "Breton was a “juvenile victim” involved in an Oedipal game" mean "Breton was a young man who was a victim of the Oedipal game"?

You would have to read Bataille. I have not. My interpretation based on nothing at all is that Bataiile thought Breton was playing the victim, and that the Oedipal game, whatever game that might be, was not directly related to that.

catttt2. Does "an “Icarian pose” assumed less to undo the law than to provoke its punishment" mean "an “Breton was a high-flying man who assumed the breaking of the law less important than the punishment that comes after it"?

Icarus is a tragic figure. This seems to be an extension of Breton's playing the victim, with the law acting as Icarus's sun.

catttt3. A dichotomy happens between two things. Can you understand what these two things are in the following text?

I had to try pretty hard. I guess pure filth for filth's sake is one thing, and acting dirty for art is another. I guess.

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.