Surrealist Presencing in Theophile Gautier’s ‘The Mummy’s Foot’

  •  Deema N. Ammari    
  •  Areej K. Allawzi    
  •  Akram A. Odeh    


This paper attempts to pursue a Surrealist approach to Existential presencing as projected in Theophile Gautier’s ‘The Mummy’s Foot’. The existentialist individual is thrown into an absurd nonsensical world, and is only capable of giving meaning to his existence by distancing himself from society and proving his presence through subjective continuous action, or else risks his reduction to nonexistence. Likewise, the Surrealist aim is to escape the rational limitations of society hindering the individual’s ability to project his full imaginative potential. The only possible way for a Surrealist to truly experience and project his creativity and place in the world is through one’s sub-conscious, only possibly accessed in the dream world, which otherwise is never fully attainable in the waking-state. The paper attempts to offer a fresh perspective as it explores the possibility of tracing existential presencing by utilizing the Surrealist method of dream interpretation in literature. The conjoining of the waking-state and the dream world grants access to the possibility of proving one’s existence in either state, so long as subjective action is affected and continued in both realities.

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