Manifestoes of Surrealism, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Presents the essential ideas of the founder of French surrealism




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It is hard to exaggerate the importance and the relevance of this book and the greatness of it's author, Andre Breton. Although a flawed and decidedly ambivalent man, Breton was the first out and out surrealist worthy of the name, seeking the spirit of magic and 'immanent transcendence' of a sort in the marvelous, a sense of mysticism and wonder in no way supernatural or otherworldly. Breton exhorts us to break the sterile and suffocating chains of rationalism and logic, and to realize the relativity of perspectives and perceptions of reality, thereby freeing both our intellect and the supreme weapon of the human mind, the imagination. The surrealist lifestyle is nothing if not a furious attempt at total liberation, and Breton knows that this cannot be said often enough. The mad, the imaginative, the dreamy and the alienated are true 'surrealists' and unwittingly live this defiant philosophy of rebellion through their resolute refusal to conform to society's norms and to replace their own thoughts with those of the uninspired, the average, the ordinary. The literary and poetic precursors Breton cites are absolutely perfect and in accordance with the ideology he is formulating:anyone who has deeply felt the power of imaginative art has felt the spirit of surrealism, and Breton was possessed by it. He once screamed furiously, "I AM SURREALISM!"--and far from seeing it as arrogant or pompous, I think he was right

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