Investigating Sex: Surrealist Discussions 1928-1932  

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From Investigating Sex: Surrealist Discussions 1928-1932, page 5, an illustration of many Surrealists', and especially Breton's apparent homophobia. This excerpt from the first session on January 27, 1928.
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From Investigating Sex: Surrealist Discussions 1928-1932, page 5, an illustration of many Surrealists', and especially Breton's apparent homophobia. This excerpt from the first session on January 27, 1928.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Investigating Sex: Surrealist Discussions 1928-1932, edited by Jose Pierre, translated by Malcolm Imire and published by Verso in 1992 is the translation of Recherches sur la sexualité, janvier 1928-août 1932.

In January 1928, some twenty years before Kinsey began their clinical surveys, the Paris surrealists initiated their own "researches into sexuality" in the form of twelve round table discussions. Participants included many of surrealism's best known figures: Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Antonin Artaud, Benjamin Peret, Jacques Prevert, Marcel Duhamel, Yves Tanguy, Pierre Unik, Pierre Naville, etc... The results of these discussions were partly published in La Révolution surréaliste.


Homophobia

These discussions were notable for the homophobia displayed by many surrealists, and especially André Breton who said:

'I accuse homosexuals of confronting human tolerance with a mental and moral deficiency which tends to turn itself into a system and to paralyse every enterprise I respect.'

Pierre Unik states:

'From a physical point of view, I find homosexuality as disgusting as excrement ...'

André Breton concludes:

"I am absolutely opposed to continuing the discussion of this subject. If this promotion of homosexuality carries on, I will leave this meeting forthwith."

Some surrealists came to the defense of homosexuals, most notably Raymond Queneau who states:

"It is evident to me that there is an extraordinary prejudice against homosexuality among the surrealists."

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