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      L e n i n i m p o r t s . c o m                                        




      A n d r é  B r e t o n



      • Known as: French writer & poet
      • Claim to fame: Main founder of surrealism
      • Born: February 18, 1896, Tinchebray (Orne), Normandy, France
      • Date of death: September 28, 1966
      • Buried: Cimetière des Batignolles, Paris



    • Andre Breton was a doctor who discovered Freud's theories of the Unconscious while working with psychiatric cases in the Ist World War. He worked in a neurological ward in Nantes and it was here that he met Jacques Vaché (1895-1919). Vaché had an extreme anti-social outlook on life and loathed the established and conventional artistic traditions. He committed suicide at the age of 24 but not before heavily influencing Breton and, consequently, becoming one of the chief inspirations behind the Surrealist movement.

      Breton evolved a theory of art and literature based on pschoanalysis which had great influence through the Surrealist Manifestoes of 1924, 1930 and 1942.

      He was an autocratic leader of the Surrealists, constantly falling out and expelling other members. He also hated Jean Cocteau with a vengeance.

      He died at the age of 70...Biog. II


      Dateline:

      • 1919: Co-founds the review Littérature with Louis Aragon and Philippe Soupault. Publication of Lettres de guerre, Vaché's war-time letters to Breton and others

      • 1920: Les Champs Magnétiques is published, a novel collaboration with Soupault

      • 1924: Publication of Surrealist Manifesto. Editor of La Révolution surréaliste

      • 1927: Joins the French Communist Party

      • 1928: Publication of novel Nadja

      • 1933: Expelled from French Communist Party

      • 1937: Publication of novel L'Amour Fou

      • 1938: Travels to Mexico and meets Trotsky. The pair, with Diego Rivera, publish the manifesto Pour un art révolutionnaire indépendent

      • 1941: Leaves France because of dissatisfaction with the Vichy government. Settles in the US and the Caribbean

      • 1946: Returns to Paris

      • 1961-65: La Brèche

      • 1966: Dies on September 28


      Trivia:

      • His three wives were:

      • Born in 1896 in southern Normandy

      • Born into modest origins

      • For many years, Breton kept a small studio at 42 rue Fontaine, in the Paris district of Pigalle

      • He spent most of World War II in the United States.

      • In 2003, 5,500 art works and collectibles from Andre Breton's estate were auctioned off. Many, including me, had hoped that the French government or a cultural institution would step in to stop the sale and preserve the Paris home and collection of the poet. Alas, it wasn't to be, cash spoke loudest even for the most purist of the Surrealists, and the sale generated over $50 million dollars. Amazing to think that even the most revolutionary of movements ends up having it's own price. Breton sarcastically came up with the anagrammatic nickname 'Avida Dollars,' (Avid for Dollars) for his fellow Surrealist, Salvador Dali...what would he have said about his own estate?

      • In 1924 Breton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto, setting out the central theme of the pre-eminence of the irrational and the automatic over logic and reason. He became a strict disciplinarian within his own movement, earning himself the nickname The Pope of Surrealism

      • When Breton died in 1966 the decor of his studio at 42 rue Fontaine was preserved, and only carefully vetted academics were allowed to view it.




      // G a l l e r y //
      A n d r é  B r e t o n



      andre breton andre breton man ray: andre breton, c. 1930 andré breton - surrealist writer, from the metamorphosis series Portrait of Andre Breton with spectacles by unknown author, 1924

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