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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Yet they remain on the level of ideas: the "idea of prison, of barracks," is attacked,
and nothing shows this better than the polemic between Aragon and the editor of
the leftist review Clarte, Jean Bernier. In the Cadavre, apropos of Anatole ...
On the level of ideas, it is, at best, a vague ministerial crisis. It would really be
more prudent of you to deal a little less casually with those who have sacrificed
their existence to things of the mind. I want to repeat in Clarte itself that the
The entire work, moreover, is an attack against the vulgar, against those who
reduce to their own tiny measure the ideas they transform into cliches, into
banalities — in other words, against those who produce literature. In the second
part of his ...
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foreword Maurice Nadeau
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