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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Some, like Robert Desnos, fell asleep at will: In a café, amid the sound of voices,
the bright light, the jostlings, Robert Desnos need only close his eyes, and he
talks, and among the steins, the saucers, the whole ocean collapses with its ...
Robert Desnos also appeals for help to the Asian barbarians capable of following
in the footsteps of the “archangels of Attila.” And the dead themselves, those like
Théodore Lessing who believed in the omniscience of Asia, are enlisted in this ...
wives” (Jacques Prévert); “I had a true friend [Breton is supposed to be speaking],
Robert Desnos. I cheated him, lied to him, gave him my word of honor and
deceived him.” (Robert Desnos); “He practiced, on a tremendous scale, the
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