The History of Surrealism
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1989 - 351 pagina's
"I believe," André Breton said, "in the future resolution of the states of dream and reality--in appearance so contradictory--in a sort of absolute reality, or surréalité." The Surrealist movement, born in the 1920s out of the ferment of Dada, committed to revolution against bourgeois rationalism, and inspired by Freudian exploration of the unconscious, has reverberated more widely and deeply than perhaps any other art movement in our century. Its automatism, biomorphic shapes, visionary mode, and manipulation of found objects mark the work of artists as different as Ernst, Miró, Magritte, and Dali.
Maurice Nadeau's History of Surrealism, first published in French in 1944 and in English in 1965, has become a classic. It is both lucid and authoritative--by far the best overall account of this complex movement. Nadeau traces the evolution of Surrealism, bringing to life its many internal debates about politics and art. He relates the movement to its intellectual and artistic environment. And he provides the statements and manifestos of Breton, Aragon, Tzara, and others.
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Something of a problem presents itself in the form of books like Nadja and
Paysan de Paris. Both are direct personal accounts of a short period spent in
pursuit of "surreality," plus lengthy reflections on the very meager events reported
Her name is "Nadja, because in Russian that is the beginning of the word for
hope, and because it is only the beginning." "Who are you? . . ." Breton asks. "I
am the soul-errant." It seems that she is always and naturally in what the
I confess that this place frightens me, as it is beginning to frighten Nadja too. "
How terrible! Can you see what's going on in the trees? The blue and the wind,
the blue wind. I've seen that blue wind pass through these same trees only once
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
foreword Maurice Nadeau
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