Complete summary of André Breton’s Manifesto of Surrealism. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Manifesto of Surrealism. Andre Breton discusses the meaning, aims, and political position of the Surrealist movement. Manifestoes of Surrealism has ratings and 58 reviews. Manifestoes of Surrealism is a book by André Breton, describing the aims, meaning, and political .

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It could, on the contrary, only serve to justify the complete state of distraction which we hope to achieve here below. At this juncture, my intention was merely to mark a point by noting the hate of the marvelous which rages in certain men, this absurdity beneath which they try to bury it. It had seemed to me, and still does — the way in which the phrase about the man cut in two had come to me is an indication of it — surrealusm the speed of thought is no greater than the speed of speech, and that thought does not necessarily defy language, nor even the fast-moving pen.

Ease of execution achieved the rest. Oxford University Press, It is as though we were still running toward our salvation, or our perdition. Poetically speaking, they strike you above all by a high degree of instantaneous absurdity, the quality of this absurdity, on closer examination, being to make room for everything admissible, legitimate in the world: Picasso goes hunting in the neighborhood.

I got up and picked up a pencil and some paper that were on a table behind my bed. It has the illusion of continuing something worthwhile. In the realm of literature, the marvellous alone is capable of making fertile those works which belong to a lesser genre such as the novel, everything in general that involves off.

I would like to sleep, to surrender myself to the dreamers, as I deliver myself to those who read to me, eyes wide open; to cease from imposing, in this realm, the conscious rhythm of my thoughts. Not more can be said, as even attempting to paraphrase Breton’s words would usrrealism to be no less than arbitrary Though he may later try to pull himself together on occasion, having felt that he is losing by slow degrees all reason for living, incapable as he has become of being able to rise to some exceptional situation such as love, he will hardly succeed.


If such and such a sentence of mine causes me a momentary disappointment, I trust in greton next sentence to right its wrongs, I refrain from beginning it over again or polishing it. The effort of socialising which dictates it and the considerable practice we have at it are the only things which allow us to conceal it temporarily.

The desire for analysis wins out over the sentiments. From childhood memories, and from a few others, there emanates a kanifesto of being unintegrated, and then later of having gone astray, which I hold to be the most fertile that exists.

But the faculties do not change radically. More specifically, surrealism aims to reduce the contradictions between sleeping and waking, dreaming and action, reason and madness, the conscious and the unconscious, the individual and society, the subjective and the objective. At that point cubist pseudo-poetry was trying to get a foothold, but it had emerged defenseless from Picasso’s brain, and I was thought to be as dull as dishwater and still am. The marvellous is not the same in all ages; it participates obscurely in some kind of general revelation of which only the particulars reach us: Here, two thoughts confront one another; while one is being delivered, the other is occupied with it, but how is it so occupied?

And if things were otherwise, what might it not be capable of?

André Breton

In the final analysis, it’s not such a bad thing for these images to upset the mind, for to upset the mind is to put it in the wrong. Finally, I must admit that the polemics that Breton constantly engaged in through his works, the slandering of his ‘friends’ due to his egotism are the one major drawback of this selection from his works. I shall be proved guilty of poetic dishonesty: Memory alone arrogates to itself the right to recall excerpts, to ignore transitions, and to represent it to us rather as a series of dreams than the dream itself.


It is because human beings, when they cease to sleep, are above all the playthings of memory, and memory in its normal state takes pleasure in re-tracing the events of dreams only feebly, depriving the latter of all real importance, and distancing the sole determinant from the point where it thinks, several hours later, that it was left: The ease of execution did the rest.

This world is only relatively-speaking in tune with thought, and incidents of this kind are only episodes, till now the most notable, in a war of independence in which I have the glory of participating.

I am going to explain to you, my dear Dumas, the phenomenon of which you have spoken a short while ago. I do not judge them to be any more worthless, because of that, in portraying for the reader the benefits which the Surrealist contribution is liable to make to his consciousness.

Breton, Andre (–) – First Manifesto of Surrealism

It is, in fact, very difficult to assess the various elements present at their true value, manifeso might even say it is impossible to appreciate them at first reading. Dostoevski, Crime and Punishment.

What is worth noting is that nothing allows us to presuppose a greater dissipation of the elements of which the dream is constituted. The Manifestoes of Surrealism are holy documents for initiate.

In the realm of literature, only the marvelous is capable of fecundating works which belong to an inferior category such as the novel, and generally speaking, anything that involves storytelling. Roussel is surrealist in the anecdote. When that happens, a new morality must be substituted for manivesto prevailing morality, the source of all our trials and tribulations. Prove that it deserves to be taken seriously, don’t complain that it hasn’t been.