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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On the first level was the Clarté group, with which there had been bitter polemics
in the past (the Aragon-Bernier dispute), and which was the only one to take any
effective action against the Moroccan War on the ideological level. The editors of
Hence the December issue of Clarté announced on the cover: “Clarté is ceasing
publication, to be succeeded by La Guerre civile,” at the same time that it named
the founders, both surrealist and Clartéist, of this new publication: Louis Aragon,
Clarté, whose first issue (of the new series) appeared June 15, 1926, attempted
on the other hand to discover the reasons for the failure.” Marcel Fourrier finds
them in an absence of a true collective life in the new alliance, a collective life
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