The Second Manifesto of Surrealism  

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"souillé, sénile, rance, sordide, égrillard, gâteux"

The Second manifeste du surréalisme[1] (Second Surrealist Manifesto, 1929) was a Surrealist manifesto by André Breton.

It was signed by Louis Aragon, Max Ernst, Luis Buñuel, René Char, René Crevel, Salvador Dali, Paul Éluard, Benjamin Péret, Tanguy, Tzara, Maxime Alexandre, Joe Bousquet, Camille Goemans, Paul Nougé, Francis Ponge, Marco Ristitch, Georges Sadoul, André Thirion, and Albert Valentin.

In 1929 Breton asked Surrealists to assess their "degree of moral competence", and along with other theoretical refinements issued the Second manifeste du surréalisme. The proclamation excluded Surrealists reluctant to commit to collective action: Leiris, Limbour, Morise, Baron, Queneau, Prévert, Desnos, Masson and Boiffard.

Contents

Publishing history

The Second manifeste du surréalisme was first printed on December 15, 1929 in the 12th issue of La Révolution surréaliste.

Aftermath

The document purged dissidents and called for political action. The proclamation excluded Surrealists reluctant to commit to collective action: Leiris, Limbour, Morise, Baron, Queneau, Prévert, Desnos, Masson and Boiffard. They moved to the periodical Documents, edited by Georges Bataille, whose anti-idealist materialism produced a hybrid Surrealism exposed the base instincts of humans.

These "dissidents" moved to the periodical Documents, edited by Georges Bataille, whose anti-idealist materialism produced a hybrid Surrealism exposing the base instincts of humans.

Incipit

"En dépit des démarches particulières à chacun de ceux qui s’en sont réclamés ou s’en réclament, on finira bien par accorder que le surréalisme ne tendit à rien tant qu’à provoquer, au point de vue intellectuel et moral, une crise de conscience de l’espèce la plus générale et la plus grave et que l’obtention ou la non-obtention de ce résultat peut seule décider de sa réussite ou de son échec historique."

Quotations

The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd

His boutade "L’acte surréaliste le plus simple consiste, revolvers aux poings, à descendre dans la rue et à tirer au hasard, tant qu’on peut, dans la foule" [The simplest Surrealist act consists of running down into the street, pistols in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd]," is often quoted.

Analysis

Dans son étude, Élisabeth Kennel-Renaud compte 8 éléments.

  • Caractère factice des vieilles antinomies
  • Le surréalisme ne se réclame d'aucune morale
  • Critique de certains surréalistes
  • Rappel des fondements
  • Appel à l'implication sociale
  • Mise en garde contre l'endoctrinement politique
  • Attirance pour l'ésotérisme
  • Refus du succès mercantile

Ce Second manifeste a reçu une réplique cinglante de Robert Desnos in Troisième manifeste du surréalisme.


See also




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