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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If one establishes the supreme authority of automatism and reduces the
individual consciousness to ( in Breton's words) "a modest recording device" for
unconscious or collective experiences, the mind has then lost its integrity and
neers, false scientists, false philosophers, blind to the true mysteries of life, of the
body and the mind, mummified in the shrouds of logic. The remedy is to be found
in Asia, "citadel of every hope,"8 love for which is expressed in inflamed ...
Now these two attitudes were mutually exclusive. Hence the dilemma: was it
necessary to believe in "a liberation of the mind anterior to the abolition of the
bourgeois conditions of material life and to a certain point independent of such a
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foreword Maurice Nadeau
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