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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Nadja particularly begs for thorough interpretation and analysis. The narrative
has been authenticated as the unretouched story of Breton's chance encounter
with a strangely alluring and unpredictable young woman who drew him into a
With Nadja, we have the antithesis of Aragon's polemical style, so much so that
Breton's book has been taken for a novel, and a successful one at that. The facts
related seemed, indeed, so hard to believe that the public has preferred to ...
Her name is “Nadja, because in Russian that is the beginning of the word for
hope, and because it is only the beginning.” “Who are you? ...” Breton asks. “I am
the soul-errant.” It seems that she is always and naturally in what the spiritualists
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