a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto (Manifeste du surréalisme) of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism".
Born to a family of modest means in Tinchebray (Orne) in Normandy, he studied medicine and psychiatry. During World War I he worked in a neurological ward in Nantes, where he met the devotee of Alfred Jarry, Jacques Vaché, whose anti-social attitude and disdain for established artistic tradition influenced Breton considerably. Vaché committed suicide at age 24, and his war-time letters to Breton and others were published in a volume... more »
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Andre Breton Poems
Freedom of Love
(Translated from the French by Edouard Rodti) My wife with the hair of a wood fire With the thoughts of heat lightning
Always for the First Time
Always for the first time Hardly do I know you by sight You return at some hour of the night to a house at an angle to my window A wholly imaginary house
Less time than it takes to say it, less tears than it takes to die; I've taken account of everything, there you have it. I've made a census of the stones, they are as numerous as my fingers and some
La voyageuse qui traverse les Halles à la tombée de l'été Marchait sur la pointe des pieds Le désespoir roulait au ciel ses grands arums si beaux Et dans le sac à main il y avait mon rêve ce flacon de sels
Le Verbe Être
We are the birds always charmed by you from the top of these belvederes And that each night form a blossoming branch between your
The Spectral Attitudes
I attach no importance to life I pin not the least of life's butterflies to importance I do not matter to life
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Nothing retains less of desire in art, in science, than this will to industry, booty, possession.''André Breton (1896-1966), French surrealist. Mad Love, ch. 3 (1937, trans. 1987).
The work of art, just like any fragment of human life considered in its deepest meaning, seems to me devoid of value if it does not offer the hardness, the rigidity, the regularity, the luster on ever...André Breton (1896-1966), French surrealist. Mad Love, ch. 1 (1937, trans. 1987).
''It is living and ceasing to live that are imaginary solutions. Existence is elsewhere.''André Breton (1896-1966), French Surrealist. repr. In Manifestoes of Surrealism (1969). Manifesto of Surrealism (1924).
''Perhaps I am doomed to retrace my steps under the illusion that I am exploring, doomed to try and learn what I should simply recognize, learning a mere fraction of what I have forgotten.''André Breton (1896-1966), French surrealist. Nadja (1928).
''Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or will not be at all.''André Breton (1896-1966), French surrealist. Nadja (1928).
Comments about Andre Breton
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Freedom of Love
(Translated from the French by Edouard Rodti)
My wife with the hair of a wood fire
With the thoughts of heat lightning
With the waist of an hourglass
With the waist of an otter in the teeth of a tiger
My wife with the lips of a cockade and of a bunch of stars of the last magnitude
With the teeth of tracks of white mice on the white earth
With the tongue of rubbed amber and glass
My wife with the tongue of a stabbed host
With the tongue of a doll that opens and closes its eyes
With the tongue of an unbelievable stone
My wife with the eyelashes of ...