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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Much more than in any "mental vantage point," they found in passion a re
devotion 10 a single wuiuall over a long period of time the surest means ot'
liberating desire. And for "desire" read "imagination/' They wished to release the
We have shown how profoundly World War I had marked the surrealists, how its
horrors and futility had instilled in these men a fierce desire for total destruction,
for which they sought equivalents in Sade, Borel, Rimbaud, Lautreamont.
If we consider any object capable, by the desire of the man who chooses it, of
filling this role, since the number of objects is limitless, the range of the
sensations they cause becomes infinite. It can be a meteorite, a "conic
anamorphosis" by Dali ...
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foreword Maurice Nadeau
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