a1 University College London, UK. E-mail: email@example.com
This essay is concerned with the power of art to effect change, but also to show attachments to existing ways of understanding. Avant-garde art from Cubism to Surrealism seeks to transform the shapes in which we see the world. But change may simply create blindness to the past, and to what is, and to the way our chains are yanked by the lures of domination whether economic, social or emotional. Kundera's novelistic meditation on the canonical and radical poets Rimbaud and Éluard encourages us to wonder whether the obsession with change is an investment in the powers of oblivion and ignorance.
(Online publication April 14 2011)