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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The tone was set. The February Dada bulletin includes the names of Picabia,
Tzara, Aragon, Breton, Ribemont-Dessaignes, Eluard, Duchamp, Dermée,
Cravan, and proclaims: “The true Dadas are anti-Dada. Everyone is a leader of
Vailland semed to be making honorable amends, when RibemontDessaignes,
disgusted by the turn the discussion was taking, ostentatiously left the meeting."
Matters were to go no further that evening. The project of common action was ...
The most frequently employed epithets were cop and curé: “The revelations
concerning, for example, Naville and Masson have the character of the daily
blackmail waged by the newspapers in the pay of the police" (Ribemont-
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