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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I admit that two-and-two-makes-four is an excellent thing, but if all things are to be
praised, I should say that two-and-two-makes-five is also a delightful thing. —
DOSTOEVSKY What has not progressed at the same rate is man's knowledge ...
Having started from a rather mystical idealism of the omnipotence of spirit over
matter, the surrealists arrive at least in theory, at a materialism of revolution in
things themselves. Several of them will even take the plunge and furnish militants
The second phase of the surrealist process was to transform this world
objectively, to transcend subjectivism by a materialism capable of acting on
things directly. The surrealists then found themselves on the chosen terrain of the
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
foreword Maurice Nadeau
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