The History of Surrealism
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000 - 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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A far more publicized event concerns the prolonged gymnastics that finally
carried Aragon, one of its staunchest spirits, out of the surrealist group. In 1930
he traveled to Moscow and there signed documents and made statements that
for Aragon's trip to Russia were not really political. He had just fallen under the
spell of the Russian woman who was to become his wife, Elsa Triolet,
Mayakovski's sister-in-law. Furthermore, Breton points out, a fellow surrealist,
Was it possible to learn a lesson from this “Aragon affair"? We may, now that we
know the facts, wonder what its meaning was. It led to Aragon's break with the
group he had helped found, of which, with Breton and Éluard, he was one of the ...
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