Why Mickey is Surreal

Literary realism attempts to represent familiar things as they are.

Surrealism definition: Surrealism is a type of literature in which the author attempts to display irrational or dreamlike qualities in his or her writing. Surrealism refers to writing that goes beyond the realistic into a creative, imaginative realm that often has dreamlike qualities.

Two definitions of styles of writing that are common in today’s literary realm.

Realism is a tradition that began in the middle of the 18th Century. It includes authors like Balzac, Alexander Pushkin, Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, and Charles Dickens. They tend to focus on the details that shine a light on the grungy, dreary realities of the Industrial Revolution, the American Experiment in Democracy, and wars like the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and wars against Napoleon, Hitler, and Communist Russia.

Surrealism, especially as it grew legs and began galloping in the 20th Century is really a reaction to the realities that Realism ground into our souls. Science Fiction imagines the problems and the possibilities presented by applying science and industry into our future. Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, and Aldous Huxley are all surrealists because they apply the power of their imaginations to dealing with the limits reality hangs around the neck of the race horse we call life on Earth.

Fantasy writers like JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Neil Gaiman, and JK Rowlings apply apples of imagination hung from a string in front of the race horse to motivate him onward. The race horse of life on Earth is a dreamlike metaphor, somewhat like a dog who smokes a pipe and solves crimes, and is the kind of literary device that defines surrealism the way that Mickey sees it.

But enough about what surrealism is. It is just realism with a “sur” pasted on the front. So, let me just show you some.

These are Snow Babies from the book of the same name. If you see one during a blizzard, it might mean you will freeze to death.
This is a sample of an illustration for a friend’s children’s book idea that never got made. Accidentally travelling by bubble-gum-chewing goldfish.
This picture shows that, in order to do surrealism, you must make the dreamlike seem very realistic.
In When the Captain Came Calling, the Captain is invisible and Valerie Clarke gets turned into a squirrel by Voodoo.
Mickey is not the only surrealist who thinks of Toys coming to Life.

So, now that you have seen the pictorial evidence that Mickey thinks surreal thoughts, you should be willing to admit… He probably really is a Surrealist. Or, possibly, he surreally is a surrealist.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, imagination, insight, Paffooney

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