Maria Porges

  • “Anxious Visions”

    One of the central ideas to emerge from the recent post-Modernist/post-Structuralist theoretical vogue is the notion that history can be understood as fiction—that “facts,” far from being immutable, are highly susceptible to all kinds of manipulation by the teller of the tale. Although history has always been subject to periodic reinterpretation, the recent preoccupation with hidden subtexts has instigated new readings of parts of the past about which we thought we knew the truth.

    “Anxious Visions: Surrealist Art” revises one of this century’s most important and influential artistic movements.


    What we are given . . . is abundant evidence of a masculine ideal that directs and reinforces behavior; one which, by posing as a norm, impels adaptation to a constructed situation. . . . Sexual difference should not be seen as a function of gender . . . but as a historical formation, continually produced, reproduced and rigidified in signifying practices.

    —Kate Linker, “Representation and Sexuality”

    CURRENT INTELLECTUAL FASHION dictates an automatic distrust of the historical record as it has been (falsely) constructed by dominant culture. Still, history, simply by repeating itself, can teach