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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Radical as this distinction may appear, it will be very hard to keep it in sight. A few
examples will first still, then trouble the waters. In their very massiveness, the fully
fleshed-out universes of Dickens and Balzac represent the first vision of life; ...
A fundamental contradiction began to appear, glimpsed by the most clear-sighted
among them. It was to appear to all, as a result of men and events. We have
already referred to meetings to discuss "which of the two principles, surrealist or ...
Appearing around 1878, this curious disease, maintained so ingenuously by
Charcot himself, could justifiably be described by Breton and Aragon as "the
greatest poetic discovery of the nineteenth century." How did it appear, in fact?
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
foreword Maurice Nadeau
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