A 20th-century literary and artistic movement that attempts to express the workings of the subconscious by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtaposition of subject matter.

Surrealism, movement in visual art and literature, flourishing in Europe between World Wars I and II. Surrealism grew principally out of the earlier Dada movement, which before World War I produced works of anti-art that deliberately defied reason; but Surrealism's emphasis was not on negation but on positive expression. The movement represented a reaction against what its members saw as the destruction wrought by the "rationalism" that had guided European culture and politics in the past and that had culminated in the horrors of World War I. According to the major spokesman of the movement, the poet and critic Andrй Breton, who published "The Surrealist Manifesto" in 1924, Surrealism was a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in "an absolute reality, a surreality." Drawing heavily on theories adapted from Sigmund Freud, Breton saw the unconscious as the wellspring of the imagination. He defined genius in terms of accessibility to this normally untapped realm, which, he believed, could be attained by poets and painters alike.

The major Surrealist painters were Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Andrй Masson, Renй Magritte, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dalн, Pierre Roy, Paul Delvaux, and Joan Mirу. With its emphasis on content and free form, Surrealism provided a major alternative to the contemporary, highly formalistic Cubist movement and was largely responsible for perpetuating in modern painting the traditional emphasis on content.

1917, Apollinaire (le mot lui aurait йtй suggйrй par Chagall ou, selon d'autres sources, par P. AlbertBirot). Ensemble de procйdйs de crйation et d'expression utilisant toutes les forces psychiques (automatisme, rкve, inconscient...) libйrйes du contrфle de la raison et en lutte contre les valeurs reзues; mouvement intellectuel rйvolutionnaire affirmant la supйrioritй de ces procйdйs, qui se dйveloppa surtout en littйrature et dans les arts plastiques, peinture, cinйma... suite du mouvement dada.

Quand l'homme a voulu imiter la marche, il a crйй la roue qui ne ressemble pas а une jambe. Il a fait ainsi du surrйalisme sans le savoir.

C'est de trиs mauvaise foi qu'on nous contesterait le droit d'employer le mot Surrйalisme dans le sens trиs particulier oщ nous l'entendons car il est clair qu'avant nous ce mot n'avait pas fait fortune. Je le dйfinis donc une fois pour toutes :

SURRЙALISME. n. m. Automatisme psychique pur par lequel on se propose d'exprimer [...] le fonctionnement rйel de la pensйe. Dictйe de la pensйe, en l'absence de tout contrфle exercй par la raison, en dehors de toute prйoccupation esthйtique ou morale.

ENCYCL. Philos. Le surrйalisme repose sur la croyance а la rйalitй supйrieure de certaines formes d'associations nйgligйes jusqu'а lui, а la toutepuissance du rкve, au jeu dйsintйressй de la pensйe.

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