André Breton

Elza Adamowicz (Queen Mary, University of London)
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André Breton (1896–1966) was one of the founders of Surrealism (with Louis Aragon, Robert Desnos and Paul Eluard), its leading theoretician, and its oft-contested leader. He was a poet (

Clair de terre

, 1923 ;

Le Revolver à cheveux blancs

, 1932), a prosewriter (


, 1928 ;

Les Vases communicants,


L’Amour fou

, 1937), an editor (

La Révolution surréaliste

, 1924-29 ;

Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution

, 1931-33), an exhibition curator, and an art critic.

Breton was born on 18 February 1896 in Tinchebray, France. He went to the Lycée Chaptal in Paris, where he wrote his first poems, influenced by Symbolism. He studied medicine and during World War I he worked as a medical auxiliary at the Hôpital La Pitié in Paris, where he discovered Freudian techniques. In the

2736 words

Citation: Adamowicz, Elza. "André Breton". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 January 2012 [, accessed 20 May 2024.]

557 André Breton 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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