Second Paradoxist Manifesto




A) Folkloric Begining

It was in the years 1980’s when the paradoxist movement started.


Together with childhood friends (I use their nicknames, since these are more colorfull:

Cost, Geonea, Beca, Bigioc, Piciu, Boros, Covrig ăl mijlociu, Cris, Pilă, Chesa, Grasu,

Babanu) in the little parks and restaurants of Bălcești – Vâlcea drinking beer and joking.

They did not like to read or write!...

They all were non-literators {excepting me and Co(n)st(antin) Dincă}.


We built a new literary movement without even knowing – in a paradoxical way!

We did it by jokes, against-the-grain speech, amusing themselves in that bad time!

I had written in Romanian language the volume „Laws of internal composition.

Poems with... problems!” as a preparadoxist volume, published lately.


But the First Paradoxist Manifesto in the world of the Paradoxism I published in 1983

in the first edition of my French volume The Sense of the Nonsense (Ed. Artistiques, Fès,



Returning to Craiova, my working city, I contacted the literary forums/groups and,

with the help of other well-known and appreciated writers such as Constantin M. Popa,

Marian Barbu, Ion Soare and Doru Moțoc (from Rm. Vâlcea), etc.

we realized the Paradoxist Literary Movement.


PARADOXISM CAME TO LIFE AS FROM NOTHING (actually from the folclor)


SOCIETY – whence its name.


B) Definition:
PARADOXISM is an avant-garde movement in literature, art, philosophy, science,

based on excessive used of antitheses, antinomies, contradictions, parables, odds,

anti-clichés, deviations of senses, against the grain speech, nonsense, paradoxes,

semiparadoxes in creations.
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 experiment."

C) Etymology:
Paradoxism = paradox + ism, means the theory and school of using paradoxes in

literary artistic, scientific, philosophic, etc. creations.

D) History:
"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 anything.
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", "poem-thing".
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 syncretism 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 Marian Popa, I. Soare, I. Rotaru, M. Barbu,

M. N.Rusu, Gh. Niculescu, etc. studied paradoxism in my literary work. N. Manolescu asserted, about one of

my manuscript of "Laws of Internal Composition. Poems with... Problems!", that they are against-the-grain.

I didn't have any forerunner to influence me, but I was inspired from the 'upside-down situation' that existed in t

he 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 embezzling, changes from figurative

to proper sense, upside-down interpretation of linguistic expressions.

I published in French the first paradoxist manifesto in the book titled Le sens du non-sens (The sense of the non-sense), Morocco, 1983. Other „paradoxist” books followed: Anti-chambres / Anti-poésies / Bizarerries (Ante-rooms / Anti-poems / Oddities), 1984 in Morocco and 1989 in France, and Le Paradoxisme: un nouveau mouvement littéraire (The Paradoxism: a new literary movement), Bergerac, France, 1992. Adding to these, Michèle de Laplante published Quelques Paradoxes {Some Paradoxes), Canada, 1993. Immigrating to United States in March 1990, I continued to spread the paradoxist movement to English speaking countries by publishing the contrariety anti-volume Non Poems (USA, 1990), and Encyclo-Poetry (USA, published much later). Constantin M. Popa analyzed it in his critical essay Mişcarea Literară Paradoxist (Romanian) (The Paradoxist Literary Movement), USA, 1992. A group of literary critics (J. – M. Levenard, I. Rotaru, A. Skemer) collected all multicultural essays (in 11 languages) dealing with paradoxism and published them in an anthology of the anti-literary journal „The Paradoxist Movement” (USA, 1993). More than 160 writers from 28 countries around the world were involved in the movement! Prof. Ion Soare & Dr. Titu Popescu wrote classical essay books on Paradoxism (1994, 1995).

I not only wrote poems in this style, but also plays for the theater: MetaIstorie (Romanian) {Meta-History} (Romania, 1993), a novel – paradoxically called: NonRoman (Romanian) {NonNovel} (Romania, 1993); short stories: Scrieri Defecte (Romanian) {Defective Writings}{Romania, 1997}.

In 1993 I did a paradoxist tour to literary associations and universities in Brazil.
Within 30 years of existence (1980-2010), 30 books and over 200 commentaries (articles, reviews) have been

published, plus 5 international anthologies."                                     [This section was updated on 05 September 2010]

E) Features of Paradoxism:


# 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 not;
- paradoxism especially reveals the contradictions, the antinomies, anti-theses, anti-phrases, antagonism,

non-conformism, the paradoxes and semiparadoxes in other words of anything (in literature, art, science),

while futurism, cubism, surrealism, abstractionism 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.).

 Readers are invited to write in this paradoxist style and send their creations to the editor ( )

for the next Paradoxist Anthology.

                                                                                                                                            Florentin SMARANDACHE