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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Aragon, Breton, Eluard, Peret, Unik, shaken by his arguments nonetheless,
decided to offer hostages to the position he defended by joining the Communist
Party. An odd choice after what we have said of Breton's fierce intractability with
In the camp of close friends, at Clarte, the surrealist collaboration was apparently
held rather 2 "If elsewhere, and exclusively as a result of our respective humors,
we have not all chosen to adhere to the Communist Party, at least none of us ...
In this regard I have known since last year what to look for, and that is why I have
decided it was useless to be registered in the French Communist Party. I do not
want to be arbitrarily cast into the "opposition" of a party to which I adhere with all
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
foreword Maurice Nadeau
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