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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What guides him through daily life is a fantasy in accord with desire, and no more
reasonable than in the dream. Material obligations, the satisfaction of our organic
needs have no more importance, he remarks, than the need to breathe when ...
Desire is there, cutting to pieces the fabric that changes too slowly, then letting its
sure, fragile thread run between the fragments. It yields to no objective regulator
of human conduct . . . Hence we must no longer speak of heterogeneous, even ...
Just as desire sought in waking life the answers to the questions of the dream,
and vice-versa, it seems that this same desire seeks out events which afford it a
justification: chance is no more than “the encounter of an external causality and
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