Surrealism Essay

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In the following essay, Peyre describes the importance of the Surrealist movement for the twentieth century, calling it "one of the most far-reaching attempts at changing, not only literature and painting, but psychology, ethics, and man himself."

Surrealism is likely to occupy a very considerable place in the intellectual history of the Western world in our century. Its significance as a literary phenomenon during the years 1920-1940 is unequalled. Ever since 1940, when powerful and occasionally unfair blows were dealt it by Sartre, as trenchant a polemicist as he is subtle a dialectician, Surrealism has staged a surprising comeback. It refused to concede victory to the Existentialist movement, which was impatient to bury it along with other hollow idols of an antediluvian or pre- Sartrian age. Breton returned from his American exile, shook his lion's mane in Montmartre, rallied new disciples, excommunicated others as he explained how only the...

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This section contains 5,748 words
(approx. 15 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Surrealism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Surrealism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.