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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13 Aragon put matters quite clearly a few years later: "Surrealism is inspiration
recognized, accepted and practiced. No longer as an inexplicable visitation, but
as a faculty that is exercised. Normally limited by fatigue. Of a variable scope, ...
infinite, and if its liberation is nothing but inspiration, inspiration is not the same
for the same individual at every moment of his life, of his day. It has its diseases,
its exhaustions; it differs particularly according to individuals. On the other hand, ...
... transform the mode of expression of prosaic thought into a poetic expression,
and despite all the reflection necessarily demanded by such a struggle, must
preserve the perfect appearance of inspiration and the freedom which art
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
foreword Maurice Nadeau
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