To all the bloggers, in this section I will be discussing the Surrealist Manifesto and what they believed in. But first of all you would certainly need to know what exactly Surrealism is, it is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of association heretofore neglected, in the omnipotence (having unlimited power, able to do anything) of the dream. Within this movement, thought dictated (with total authority) in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations. It is clear that these artists didn’t care much for the aestheticism of their art, their dreams and imagination were their guidelines and inspiration. Just imagine, creating and surrounding yourself with a world that only you know of and are familiar with.
The first Surrealist Manifesto was written by Andrè Breton in 1924, called Le Manifeste du Surrèalisme.
It was said by Breton that at that time they were still living under the reign of logic, but the logical processes of their time apply only to the solution of problems of secondary interest. The absolute rationalism which remains in fashion allows for the consideration of only those facts narrowly relevant to our experience.
Logical conclusions, on the other hand, escape us. Needless to say, boundaries have been assigned even to experience. It revolves in a cage from which release is becoming increasingly difficult. It too depends upon immediate utility and is guarded by common sense. The surrealists succeeded in dismissing what was wrong and right and they proscribed every way of seeking the truth which does not conform to convention. It would appear that it is by sheer chance that an aspect of intellectual life – and by far the most important in my opinion — about which no one was supposed to be concerned any longer has, recently, been brought back to light. Credit for this must go to Sigmund Freud. On the evidence of his discoveries a current of opinion is at last developing which will enable the explorer of the human mind to extend his investigations, since he will be empowered to deal with more than merely summary realities. Perhaps the imagination is on the verge of recovering its rights. If the depths of our minds conceal strange forces capable of augmenting or conquering those on the surface, it is in our greatest interest to capture them.
It was only fitting that Sigmund should appear with his critique on the dream. In fact, it is incredible that this important part of psychic activity has still attracted so little attention within the limits to which its performance is restricted (or what passes for performance), the dream, according to all outward appearances, is continuous and bears traces of organization. They were concerned with what existed in the dream state, or that it does not sink into the immemorial (for a very long time).
Their conquest was aimed at two separate groups of dream and reality, of which was put into a sort of absolute reality, a surrealism, so to speak. There, the absence of any known restrictions allows him the perspective of several lives lived at once now their interest shifted to the fleeting, the extreme facility of everything. Children set off each day without a worry in the world. A great deal of comfort and consolation from their imagination that they enjoy their madness sufficiently to endure the thought that its validity does not extend beyond themselves.
Once one ceases to feel, you shouldn’t keep quiet. 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 (Barrès, Proust.). The result is statements of undue length whose persuasive power is attributable solely to their strangeness and which impress the viewer/onlooker.
Under the pretense of civilization and progress, they have managed to banish from the mind everything that may rightly or wrongly be termed superstition, or fancy; forbidden is any kind of search for truth which is not in conformance with accepted practices. It was, apparently, by pure chance that a part of our mental world which we pretended not to be concerned with any longer and, in their opinion by far the most important part. For this we must give thanks to the discoveries of Sigmund Freud. On the basis of these discoveries a current of opinion is finally forming by means of which the human explorer will be able to carry his investigation much further, authorized as he will henceforth be not to confine himself solely to the most summary realities. The imagination is perhaps on the point of reasserting itself, of reclaiming its rights. If the depths of our mind contain within it strange forces capable of augmenting those on the surface, or of waging a victorious battle against them, there is every reason to seize them first to seize them, then, if need be, to submit them to the control of our reason.
Thus the dream finds itself reduced to a mere parenthesis, as is the night. And, like the night, dreams generally contribute little to furthering our understanding. This curious state of affairs seems to me to call for certain reflections within the limits where they operate (or are thought to operate) dreams give every evidence of being continuous and show signs of organization. Memory alone arrogates to itself the right to excerpt from dreams, to ignore the transitions, and to depict for us rather a series of dreams than the dream itself.
Not only does the mind display, in this state, a strange tendency to lose its bearings (as evidenced by the slips and mistakes the secrets of which are just beginning to be revealed to us), but, what is more, it does not appear that, when the mind is functioning normally, it really responds to anything but the suggestions which come to it from the depths of that dark night to which I commend it.
The mind of the man who dreams is fully satisfied by what happens to him. The agonizing question of possibility is no longer pertinent. Kill, fly faster, love to your heart’s content. And if you should die, are you not certain of reawaking among the dead? Let yourself be carried along, events will not tolerate your interference. You are nameless. The ease of everything is priceless.
They succeeded in recording the contents of dreams in their entirety (and that presupposes a discipline of memory spanning generations. Their passion for eternity with which they are constantly stirred lends an unforgettable intensity to their torments, and to mine.
The marvelous is not the same in every period of history: it partakes in some obscure way of a sort of general revelation only the fragments of which come down to us: they are the romantic ruins, the modern mannequin, or any other symbol capable of affecting the human sensibility for a period of time.
We really live by our fantasies when we give free reign to them. And how could what one might do bother the other, there, safely sheltered from the sentimental pursuit and at the trysting place of opportunities? It was a question of going back to the sources of poetic imagination and, what is more, of remaining there. Not that I pretend to have done so. It requires a great deal of fortitude to try to set up one’s abode in these distant regions where everything seems at first to be so awkward and difficult, all the more so if one wants to try to take someone there.
Besides, one is never sure of really being there. It cannot be born from a comparison but from a juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities. The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be — the greater its emotional power and poetic reality. And I would like it understood that I am not accusing or condemning lack of originality as such. The flashes of wit and other niceties vie in concealing from us the true thought in search of itself, instead of concentrating on obtaining successes. It seems to me that every act is its own justification, at least for the person who has been capable of committing it.
Whether we like it or not, there is enough there to satisfy several demands of the mind. All these images seem to attest to the fact that the mind is ripe for something more than the benign joys it allows itself in general.
The mind which plunges into Surrealism relives with glowing excitement the best part of its childhood. For such a mind, it is similar to the certainty with which a person who is drowning reviews once more, in the space of less than a second, all the insurmountable moments of his life.
Surrealism, such as I conceive of it, asserts our complete nonconformism clearly enough so that there can be no question of translating it, at the trial of the real world, as evidence for the defense. Also noticeable that surrealist painting tended to avoid any obvious engagement with the class struggle. Patrick Waldberg.
Within their art they refused reality, they wanted to show the world the madness that is connected within our dreams and fantasies. We as people tend to lock the madness away and don’t give any thought to them. This madness is tended to be expressed and showed to the world. From what I have read, their utopian ideals were almost child-like. They gave in to the freedom of thought, where there are no limitations. They ‘unlocked’ doors to a dream world where the viewers could experience this freedom.