Andre Breton
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Ed's Favorite Quotations. Emphasis added. References below.

ANDRE BRETON

Manifestoes of Surrealism.

MANIFESTO OF SURREALISM (1924)

"I could spend my whole life prying loose the secrets of the insane."1a

"Our brains are dulled by the incurable mania of wanting to make the unknown known, classifiable. The desire for analysis wins out over the sentiments."1b

"I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality, if one may so to speak."1c*

"Let us not mince words: . . . only the marvelous is beautiful."1d

"We really live by our fantasies when we give free rein to them."1e*

" . . . [T]his phrase astonished me: . . . it was something like: "There is a man cut in two by the window . . . ""1f

"SURREALISM, n. Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express -- verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner -- the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern."1g

SOLUBLE FISH (1924) 

"In New York harbor it was no longer the Statue of Liberty that lighted the world, but Love, which is different."1h

SECOND MANIFESTO OF SURREALISM (1930)

"The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd. Anyone who, at least once in his life, has not dreamed of thus putting an end to the petty system of debasement and cretinization in effect has a well-defined place in that crowd, with his belly at barrel level. . . I simply wanted to bring in here the element of human despair . . ."1i

" . . . [T]here is a mirror in the mind over which the vast majority of mankind could lean without seeing themselves."1j

POLITICAL POSITION OF SURREALISM (1935)

"Art is not a submission, it is a conquest.
The conquest of what?
Of feelings and the means to express them.
About what?
About the unconscious, almost always; about logic, very often
."1k*

" . . . [W]e live in an era in which man belongs to himself less than ever . . ."1l


     

Andre Breton (1896-1966). Manifestoes of Surrealism. Translated by Richard Seaver and Helen R. Lane. University of Michigan, 1969. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1972. (Originally published in Paris, France, by Jean-Jacques Pauvert editeur as Manifestes du Surrealisme, 1962.)
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* Italics in the original.

1 Andre Breton (1896-1966). Manifestoes of Surrealism. Translated by Richard Seaver and Helen R. Lane. University of Michigan, 1969. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1972. (Originally published in Paris, France, by Jean-Jacques Pauvert editeur as Manifestes du Surrealisme, 1962.)
MANIFESTO OF SURREALISM (1924)
a Manifesto of Surrealism (1924), at 5.
b Ibid., at 9.
c Ibid., at 14.
d Ibid., at 14.
e Ibid., at 18.
f Ibid., at 21.
g Ibid., at 26.
SOLUBLE FISH (1924)
h Soluble Fish (1924), at 91.
SECOND MANIFESTO OF SURREALISM (1930)
i Second Manifesto of Surrealism (1930), at 125-126.
j Ibid., at 181n.
POLITICAL POSITION OF SURREALISM (1935)
k Political Position of Today's Art (1935), at 229.
l Ibid., at 232.

MK-BOOKS-BRETON-20090318.