Surrealist Hybrids – Contemporary Hybrids Árpád Mezei and the Late Surrealist Theories of Hybridity

Imre József Balázs 1
  • 1 Babeş–Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) Department of Hungarian Literary Studies, (, Cluj-Napoca, Romania


Árpád Mezei (1902-1998) was a Hungarian art theoretician and psychologist. In the 1940s he was co-founder of the Európai Iskola (European School), the most important assembly of progressive Hungarian artists and art theoreticians of the period. His readings in art theory and his friendship with the Surrealist painter and writer Marcel Jean (who lived in Budapest in the period between 1938 and 1945) had a strong impact on his intellectual profile: he co-authored with Marcel Jean three volumes that became important for the understanding of the international Surrealist movement. The paper analyses Mezei’s concepts and tries to reconstruct his interpretative framework where several aspects of culture including mythology, history, literature, art and history of architecture communicate with each other, and hybridity is one of the key concepts. Being used to describe contemporary shifts in culture and identity by authors like Peter Burke, hybridity is of great interest to contemporary culture. The paper points out possible links between late Surrealist theories of hybridity and contemporary culture.

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