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My years of militant surrealism

September 14, 2012

A letter by Luis Buñuel to Paramount Pictures. Any resemblance to real people is purely intentional. This first appeared at The New Inquiry.

Spotted Bull by Bill Traylor.

TO: Ms. Alice Velotta, Secretariat, Paramount Pictures

SPAIN, ONCE RED has taken on a gray-yellow pallor.

I no longer view my presence here

As anything more than a heavy sack—

A boat filled with the hollow shavings of deadwood trees,

A set of outdated almanacs gathering aluminum-white dust.

So you will excuse my ready tone. Don’t believe them

When they turn my pride against me. I am not too good

For Los Angeles, knowing angels never

Forsook a degenerate.

Since my christening at the Urselines Theater when all of

Paris stood on its feet for some reels of celluloid

We scarcely agreed to show our own friends

I have been nurturing this spiritual connection

To America, its soil and people

So astonishingly unlike Spaniards.

A chief concern is what garments to pack.

And though it is generally assumed that my wife

Fills the trunks for the two of us and our young son, it is I:

For I prefer my valise so light I pour an hour and a half into

The care and handling of its contents.

L.B., 1938

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