French writer and poet. He was among the leaders of the Dada art movement and was also a founder of surrealism, publishing Le Manifeste de surréalisme/Surrealist Manifesto (1924).
Les Champs magnétiques/Magnetic Fields (1921), written with fellow Dadaist Philippe Soupault, was an experiment in automatic writing. Breton soon turned to surrealism. Influenced by communism and the theories of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, he believed that on both a personal and a political level surrealist techniques could shatter the inhibiting order and propriety of the conscious mind (bourgeois society) and release deep reserves of creative energy.
Most of his polemical and theoretical texts have been collected together in Les Pas perdus/The Lost Footsteps (1924), Point du jour/Daybreak (1934), and La Clé des champs/The Key to the Fields (1953). Other works include Najda (1928), the story of his love affair with a medium.
‘André Breton and Problems of 20th-Century Culture’
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