The first Surrealist manifesto was written by André Breton and released to the public in 1924. The document defines Surrealism as:
“Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.”
I though of M. Breton today when I was taking some old printers (printing machines, not people!) to the council recycling dump. While there I noticed a cardboard box which had once been the home of a Samsung Microwave Oven. In large, bold letters the box tersely instructed me to:
“Imagine Delicate Cuisine”
I tried to do so, and failed, several times. Could Breton have done as well? I was reminded of another (flattened) cardboard box I had seen on Sixth Avenue in New York City one day long ago, once home to a Chinese clock of such extreme patriotic enthusiasm that it would willingly have given its life for its country. Whichever country.