Philosophy of Surrealism

A Positivist Church in Porto

Surrealism had the longest tenure of any avant-garde activity, as well as its users were probably the absolute most “political.”1 It emerged from the heels of World War I, whenever André Breton founded his first journal, Literature, and introduced collectively numerous numbers who had mostly visited understand both throughout the war years. They included Louis Aragon, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Eluard, Maximum Ernst, René Magritte, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Phillippe Soupault, Yves Tanguey, and Tristan Tzara. Some were “absolute” surrealists yet others were simply linked to the motion, which lasted in to the 1950s. The intervening many years saw a shift through the original nervous about the solely intuitive to a somewhat more rational—and maybe much more political—standpoint. But there have been always journals intent on offering philosophical reason for surrealist artistic experiments, including La Revolution surrealiste and Le Surrealisme au solution de los angeles transformation. They certainly were also edited by Breton. Their novel Nadja (1928) is in this regard far less crucial than his countless essays, speeches, and manifestos.

Other article authors provided crucial pronouncements and views towards personality, passions, and politics of surrealism. Nevertheless, André Breton was its leading light, in which he supplied just what might-be called the master narrative associated with motion.2

Hardly any other modernist trend had a theorist as intellectually advanced or an organizer very because talented as Breton. No other had been [as] international in its get to so that as complete with its confrontation with reality. No other [fused] psychoanalysis and proletarian change. No other was so blatant in its embrace of no-cost relationship and “automatic writing.” No other would so use the audience to perform the task of art. There is no looking back once again to yesteryear, much like the expressionists, and bit regarding the macho rhetoric of the futurists. Surrealists prized individualism and rebellion—and no other activity would prove therefore commercially successful to promote its luminaries. The surrealists wanted to change the world, and additionally they performed. On top of that, however, the planet changed all of them. The question is whether or not their particular visual perspective and social production were decisive in shaping their particular political worldview—or whether, beyond the inflated philosophical statements and ongoing esoteric skills, the text among them is much more indirect and elusive.


Surrealism was fueled by an intimate impulse. It emphasized the brand new against the dictates of tradition, the strength of lived experience against passive contemplation, subjectivity resistant to the consensually real, plus the imagination from the instrumentally rational. Solidarity was comprehended as an inner bond with the oppressed. Surrealism took form around 1924. Its impacts reach returning to Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Alfred Jarry, and Guillaume Apollinaire.3 Fundamentally, but the surrealist enterprise rests using one basic claim: “To each according to their need!” Intent on heightening individual powers and making each person cognizant of their repressed feelings, the surrealists appropriated cubism and Dada to explode the established habits and perceptions of everyday life. But the latter had been definitely closer to their heart. Cubism was already founded whenever surrealism was created, and that caused it to be a target. Breton definitely smiled at Picabia’s 1920 Dadaist “portrait” of Cezanne as a montage of a stuffed monkey. The surrealists in addition had no curiosity about decreasing reality to its elemental geometric types. However they performed employ an invention of Picasso and Braque’s: the collage composed from different shards of truth. The cubist collage elicited a reconstruction associated with the canvas—and this is associated with work. The arbitrarily built character of everyday life had been therefore rendered manifest. The associative minute in the cubist collage ultimately led the surrealists to check beyond the real—not simply “above” it, since the term sur literally implies. These people were focused on deepening our understanding of exactly what comprises reality. Breton required the “great refusal” of something taken for existence to be able to evoke and cultivate the dream factor in the connection with every day life. In jokes, slips regarding the tongue, and unpremeditated activities surrealists insisted that hopes for liberation had been shielded from “reality principle.” Even in the event the surrealists fundamentally refused the medical element of psychoanalysis, it only is reasonable they needs to have been resulted in Freud along with his explanation of aspirations (1899).

But first there clearly was Dada. Devoted to anti-art, hooked on the extravagant and also the satirical, Dada started within Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in 1916. Switzerland ended up being simple during World War I, and Zurich’s geographic proximity to any or all the European combatants made it a center for dissidents and resisters of all kinds. Lenin lived next door from Cabaret Voltaire, where after understanding associated with the capitulation towards war temperature by worldwide personal democracy, he experienced a near breakdown and started an in depth study of Hegel.4 Known article writers preaching pacifism like Hermann Hesse, Romain Rolland, and Stefan Zweig had been in Zurich as well. Nevertheless They were currently set up […]. The youthful and as yet not known designers with a radical temperament had been brought collectively by Hugo Ball, which invented the “sound poem, ” and Emmy Hennings. These [new] music artists were of different nationalities: Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco originated from Romania, Richard Huelsenbeck from Germany, Jean Arp from Alsace—and there were numerous. As Lenin along with his couple of comrades ruminated on change, and pacifists desired to dampen chauvinist attitudes, the younger rebels combined these two opportunities with bohemian contempt for society which had produced the dispute.



Neal Goldsmith: What perennial philosophy of all spiritual …

I dream of surrealism