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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And he welcomes the newcomers: But already Jacques Baron, Robert Desnos,
Max Morise, Roger Vitrac, Pierre de Massot are waiting for us. It shall not be said
that Dadaism served any other purpose than to keep us in that state of perfect ...
Occasionally he replaced them with a monocle. His fame was already great.
Despite his youth, Breton was not playful: he rarely laughed and his gestures
were severe. Those who were not fond of him began calling him. The Pope on
In the Summer 1928 issue, R. Gilbert-Lecomte asked the question already raised
by the surrealists: “Since Rimbaud, have all the writers, the artists who were of
any value for us . . . had any goal but the destruction of 'literature' and of 'art'?
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