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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Is the poet who listens to his own unconscious of any account in the latter's
magnificence? Everyone is a poet once he agrees to obey orders, and if
surrealism means no more than this “obedience,” everyone can practice this “
magic art"; ...
Consequently, any object which seems gratuitously made, without any other
purpose than the satisfaction of its maker; further, any created object that realizes
the desires of the unconscious, of the dream. Marcel Duchamp's “ready-mades” ...
This contact was not a penetration. Now, everyone who has seen this object
function has felt a violent and indefinable emotion, doubtless having some
relation with unconscious sexual desires. This emotion has nothing to do with
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