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 February 8, 1916, in Zürich, the refuge for émigrés of all kinds and from all
nations, Tristan Tzara, a young Rumanian poet, R. Huelsenbeck, a German, and
Hans Arp, an Alsatian, opening a dictionary at a random page, baptized Dada a ...
This swift passage of arms between the founder of Dada and that of surrealism
merely inaugurates the combat which will be joined by these two men,
representing two different states of mind, two opposing “systems,” one of which,
Alongside petty attacks on Tzara, going so far as to contest his paternity of the
word Dada, Breton clearly expressed the reasons for his decision. He notes, first
of all, the death of Dada,” and no longer accepts the notion of following only stray
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