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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Had it all come to nothing more than this? Had it taken so many gigantic means
to end in a rectification of borders, in the conquest of new ports for some and their
loss for others, in the theft of colonies already stolen? It was in this disproportion ...
If I abstained, last year, from participating in the manifestations organized by
Dada at the Galerie Montaigne, it was because this mode of activity already no
longer attracted me, because I saw in it the means of attaining my twenty-sixth,
Occasionally he replaced them with a monocle. His fame was already great.
Despite his youth, Breton was not playful: he rarely laughed and his gestures
were severe. Those who were not fond of him began calling him The Pope on
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foreword Maurice Nadeau
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