Written by DAMTP   

Don LaCoss, radical scholar and writer, and member of the International Surrealist Movement, died on January 31st at age 46. He had been terribly sick for several months with a relentless respiratory illness. Don was editing the, as of yet unfinished, next edition of 'Fifth Estate' and was literally at work on it the night of his death.

Below is a very short appreciation of him by his friend in the Surrealist movement, Ron Sakolsky:

"One of Don's last research projects was on the history of Egyptian surrealism, so it is fitting that his death was poetically heralded by a popular insurrection in the streets of Cairo. As the founding manifesto of the 1973 Arab Surrealist Movement in Exile exclaimed as if in anticipation of the possibilities opened up by recent events in Tunisia and Egypt:

'We call upon individuals and the masses to unleash their instincts against all forms of repression, including the repressive ' reason ' of the bourgeois order. We poison the intellectual atmosphere with the elixir of the imagination, so that the poet will realize himself in realizing the historical transformation of poetry. We liberate language from the prisons and stock markets of capitalist confusion. '

Correspondingly, for Don, poetry and revolution were always hovering in the air like ripe fruits waiting to be plucked by those dubwise enough to get the joke. Like the "honesty" of Guy Fawkes, who was executed on Jan 31 1606 for his part in the Gunpowder Plot on the British parliament, the incendiary black humor of Don Lacoss, who died on the same day 205 years later, was, in the words of André Breton, like 'a spark in search of a powder keg'. "
Feb.2, 2011

Our empathy to his family and friends

DAta Miners & Travailleurs Psychique