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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It was with relief that Breton and his friends abjured Dadaism. Alongside petty
attacks on Tzara, going so far as to contest his paternity of the word Dada, Breton
clearly expressed the reasons for his decision. He notes, first of all, the death of ...
Pierre Naville, who had not been able to inflect its development toward a
consistent political position, took a "secret leave" and became co-director of
Clarte, where he nonetheless continued to publish the essays and poems of his
He was also very sensitive: over a line in the newspaper, he kept to his room for
eight days, and spat, spat everywhere — on the ground, on his friends, on his
friends' wives. And his friends often permitted this, being too much in love to
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
foreword Maurice Nadeau
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