pARadOXisM – the Last Literary,
Artistic, and Philosophic Vanguard of the Second Millennium
edited by C.Le
PARADOXISM is an avant-garde movement in literature, art, philosophy, science,
based on excessive used of antitheses, antinomies, contradictions, parables,
paraphrases, odds, anti-clichés, deviations of senses, parodies of proverbs and aphorisms, against-the-grain speech,
upside-down interpretations, nonsense, paradoxes, semiparadoxes in creations.
Paradoxism tries to find common parts to apparently uncommon things in any human
It was set up and led by the writer Florentin Smarandache since 1980's, who
said: "The goal is to enlargement of the artistic sphere through non-artistic
elements. But especially the counter-time, counter-sense creation. Also, to
Paradoxism = paradox+ism, means the theory and school of using paradoxes in
literary and artistic creation.
"Paradoxism started as an anti-totalitarian protest against a closed society,
Romania of 1980's, where the entire culture was manipulated by a small group.
Only their ideas and their publications counted. We couldn't publish almost
Then, I said: Let's do literature... without doing literature! Let's write...
without actually writing anything. How? Simply: object literature! 'The flight
of a bird', for example, represents a "natural poem", that is not necessary to
write down, being more palpable and perceptible in any language than some signs
laid on the paper, which, in fact, represent an "artificial poem": deformed,
resulted from a translation by the observant of the observed, and by translation
one falsifies. 'The cars jingling on the street' was a "city poem", 'peasants
mowing' a "disseminationist poem", 'the dream with open eyes' a "surrealist
poem", 'foolishly speaking' a "dadaist poem", 'the conversation in Chinese for
an ignorant of this language' a "lettrist poem", 'alternating discussions of
travelers, in a train station, on different themes' a "post-modern poem" (inter-textualism).
Do you want a vertically classification? "Visual poem", "sonorous poem",
"olfactory poem", "taste poem", "tactile poem".
Another classification in diagonal: "poem-phenomenon", "poem-(soul) status",
In painting, sculpture similarly - all existed in nature, already fabricated.
Therefore, a mute protest we did!
Later, I based it on contradictions. Why? Because we lived in that society a
double life: an official one - propagated by the political system, and another
one real. In mass-media it was promulgated that 'our life is wonderful', but in
reality 'our life was miserable'. The paradox flourishing! And then we took the
creation in derision, in inverse sense, in a syncretic way. Thus the paradoxism
was born. The folkloric jokes, at great fashion in Ceausescu's 'Epoch', as an
intellectual breathing, were superb springs.
The "No" and "Anti" from my paradoxist manifestos had a creative character, not
at all nihilistic (C. M. Popa). The passage from paradoxes to paradoxism was
documentarily described by Titu Popescu in his classical book concerning the
movement: "Paradoxism's Aesthetics" (1994). While I. Soare, I. Rotaru, M. Barbu,
Gh. Niculescu studied paradoxism in my literary work. N. Manolescu asserted,
about one of my manuscripts of non-poems, that they are against-the-hair.
I didn't have any forerunner to influence me, but I was inspired from the
'upside-down situation' that existed in the country. I started from politic,
social, and immediately got to literature, art, philosophy, even science.
Through experiments one brings new literary, artistic, philosophical or
scientific terms, new procedures, methods or even algorithms of creation. In one
of my manifestos I proposed the sense of embezzlings, changes from figurative to
proper sense, upside-down interpretation of linguistic expressions.
In 1993 I did a paradoxist tour to literary associations and universities in
Within 30 years of existence, 30 books and over 200 commentaries (articles,
reviews) have been published, plus 5 national and international anthologies."
D) Features of Paradoxism (by Florentin Smarandache)
# Basic Thesis of Paradoxism:
everything has a meaning and a non-meaning in a harmony with each other.
# Essence of Paradoxism:
a) the sense has a non-sense, and reciprocally
b) the non-sense has a sense.
# Motto of Paradoxism:
"All is possible, the impossible too!"
# Symbol of Paradoxism:
(a spiral -- optic illusion, or vicious circle)
# Delimitation from Other Avant-Gardes:
- paradoxism has a significance, while dadaism, lettrism, the absurd movement do
- paradoxism especially reveals the contradictions, the antinomies, anti-theses,
anti-phrases, antagonism, non-conformism, the paradoxes in other words of
anything (in literature, art, science), while futurism, cubism, surrealism,
abstractism and all other avant-gardes do not focus on them.
# Directions of Paradoxism:
- to use science methods (especially algorithms) for generating (and studying
also) contradictory literary and artistic works;
- to create contradictory literary and artistic works in scientific spaces
(using scientific: symbols, meta-language, matrices, theorems, lemmas, etc.).
E) Third Paradoxist Manifesto
Therefore, don't enforce any literary rules on me! Or, if you do, I'll certainly
encroach upon them. I'm not a poet, that's why I write poetry.
I'm an anti-poet or non-poet.
I thus came to America to re-build the Statue of Liberty of the Verse, delivered
from the tyranny of the classic and its dogma.
I allowed any boldness:
- anti-literature and its literature;
- flexible forms fixed, or the alive face of the death!
- style of the non-style;
- poems without verse
(because poems don't mean words)- dumb poems with loud voice;
- poems without poems (because the notion of "poem" doesn't match any definition
found in dictionaries or encyclopedias) - poems which exist by their absence;
- after-war literature: pages and pages bombed by filthiness, triteness, and
- paralinguistic verse (only!): graphics, lyrical portraits, drawings, drafts...
- non-words and non-sentence poems;
- very upset free verse and trivial hermetic verse;
- intelligible unintelligible language;
- unsolved and open problems of mathematics like very nice poems of the spirit -
we must scientificize the art in this technical century;
- impersonal texts personalized;
- electrical shock;
- translation from the impossible into the possible, or transformation of the
abnormal to the normal;
- pro Non-Art Art;
- make literature from everything, make literature from nothing!
The poet is not a prince of ducks! The notion of "poetry" and its derivatives
have become old-fashioned in this century, and people laugh at them in
disregard. I'm ashamed to affirm that I create lyrical texts, I hide them.
People neither read nor listen to lyrical texts anymore, but they will read this
volume because it's nothing to read!
However, the Paradoxist Movement is neither nihilism, nor disparity.
The book of the non-poems is a protest against art's marketing.
Do you writers sell your feelings? Do you create only for money??
Only books about crimes, sex, horror are published. Where is the true Art?
In begging... .
You may find in this book of uncollected poems everything you don't need and
don't like: poems not to be read, not to be heard, not to be written at all!
Enjoy them. Only after nuisance you really know what pleasure means.
They provide a mirror of everybody's infinite soul. Art, generally speaking, is
pushed up to its last possible frontiers toward non-art, and even more...
Better a book of blanc pages, than one which says nothing.
A very abstract and symbolic language is further used, but very concrete at the
same time: non-restrictive verse from any form or content. It takes advantage of
cliche against itself.
EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE, THEREFORE: THE IMPOSSIBLE TOO! Hence don't wonder about
this anti-book! If you don't understand it, that means you understand all. That
is the goal of the manifesto. Because Art is not for the mind, but for feelings.
Because Art is also for the mind.
Try to interpret the un-interpretable! Your imagination may flourish as a cactus
in a desert.
But, The American Manifesto of the PARADOXISM is especially a revolt of the
emigrant to the United States who doesn't speak English, against the language -
an anti-language book written in more than a broken English (the American speech
[From the book: NonPoems, by Florentin Smarandache, Xiquan Publishing House,
Phoenix, Chicago, 1991, 1992, 1993;
the volume contains very experimental so called , such as:
- poems without verse;
- poems without poems;
- poems in Pirissanorench (language spoken in the South-West of the United
States by a single person);
- graphic poems;