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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*I am willing to believe that there is no work of the mind which has not been
conditioned by the desire for real amelioration of the living conditions of an entire
world . . . The important thing is that, for us, despair, that famous despair that has
The facts related seemed, indeed, so hard to believe that the public has preferred
to assume that they were invented. Yet nothing is imagined in Nadja, everything
is utterly, rigorously true. Nadja really existed, several people knew her, and her ...
I have never written stories, having neither time to waste nor to make others
waste. The genre, I believe, is exhausted, and I am judging not according to
fashion, but according to the general sense of the interrogation to which I am
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