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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ahagon To s t u d y a movement of ideas without attending to what preceded or
followed it, ignoring the social and political situation that nourished it and on
which, in its turn, it may have acted, is a futile effort. Surrealism, especially, is
He went further: he forgave; with fraternal comprehension Fourrier evoked the
problems peculiar to surrealism, acknowledged that they were not those of
political and social action. In this case: It would obviously be absurd at the
present time ...
pierre naville The question of surrealism's political and social commitment was
not thereby settled. In the very heart of the surrealist group, it was to be raised
again and to occasion, as Breton observed, "characteristic altercations."1
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foreword Maurice Nadeau
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