French writer and poet Andre Breton was known for his work. He was one of the few people who helped and led the Surrealist movement and other avant-garde movements at the same time. He is best known for his “Surrealist Manifesto,” which called for people to be free to express themselves and let go of their subconscious thoughts. He is also known for the many books of poetry and essays he has written. During World War I, he served in the army for a short time. After that, he joined the Dadaist group and started looking into “surrealistic automatism.” He learned about different psychoanalytic theories and the idea of “unconsciousness,” which helped him with his writing. Throughout most of his life, he wrote radical and philosophical books, like “Nadja.” Most of his books have recurring themes that show a kind of “liberation of the mind” and include both tired ideas and fantastical ones. In addition to his work, he guided many people who wanted to join the Surrealist movement and continued to promote it through literature and art. Aside from his work, he was married three times, was interested in Freudian psychology, and was known for his strange ways of dressing.
Early years and childhood
Andre Breton was born in Tinchebray, France, to a family from the working class.
As a young boy, he learned about medicine and psychiatry, and he became especially interested in the study of mental illnesses. He never got enough education to become a psychoanalyst because World War I was coming up.
During the war, he worked in several neurological and mental health wards in Nantes. During this time, he also read the works of Sigmund Freud, whom he would later meet.
In his early years, the works of poets like Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud and writers like Guillaume Apollinaire had a big impact on him. In 1916, he joined Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp in France and became part of the Dadaist movement.
Andre Breton’s Career
Together with Philippe Soupault and Louis Aragon, he started the magazine “Litterature” in 1919. The next year, he wrote “Les Champs magnetics,” a work of “Surrealism” in literature (Magnetic Fields). This work was the first to use the surrealist technique of “automatic writing.”
In 1924, he started the Bureau of Surrealist Research and published the “Surrealist Manifesto,” which is one of his best works of writing. In the same year, he also took over as editor of the surrealist magazine La Revolution, where he worked with writers like Robert Desnos, Louis Aragon, Philippe Soupault, and others.
He worked for the French Communist Party from 1927 to 1933. After that, he was kicked out of the group. During this time, he wrote “Nadja,” which is one of his best books.
In 1935, he went to the “International Congress of Writers for the Defense of Culture,” where he got into a fight with other Surrealists. All of the Surrealists were kicked out of Congress because of this.
His poem “Fata Morgana” came out in 1939, after he worked with the artist Wifredo Lam, who was asked to draw pictures for the poem.
At the start of World War II, he joined the French Army and became a doctor. When his writings were banned by the Vichy government, he fled from France to the United States in 1941.
In 1944, after he went to the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, Canada, he wrote “Arcane 17.” Two years later, he went back to Paris, where he spoke out against French expansionism and helped the second group of young Surrealists gets started.
Between 1953 and 1958, he wrote many books, such as “La Cle des Champs,” “Farouche à quatre feuilles,” “Manifestos of Surrealisms,” “L’Art Magicien,” and “Constellations.”
From 1959 to 1965, he put on a show in Paris, wrote the book “Le la,” and published “La Surréalisme et la Peinture,” which was his last book.
His Important Works
Both 1924 and 1929 saw the release of the “Surrealist Manifesto.” The manifesto is thought to be one of his “largest” works. It describes surrealism as “pure psychic automatism.” The book was written with a lot of absurdist humor, and it also talked about how the Dada movement influenced the “Surrealist” movement. Surrealists liked the two books, and his writing even inspired a third manifesto that was never published.
His second book, “Nadja,” which came out in 1928, is one of his most famous works. This book was based on his private conversations with a woman who went by the name “Nadja.” The book, which is a semi-autobiography, became known as one of his best works and was included on Le Monde’s list of the “100 Books of the Century.”
Personal History and Legacies
On September 15, 1921, he got married to Simone Collinet. After ten years, he broke up with her.
He got married to his second wife, a painter named Jacqueline Lamba. He wrote a lot of poems about her, and he loved her very much. He had his only child, a daughter named Aube, with Jacqueline.
He married Elisa Claro, a Chilean woman he met while he was in exile in the United States. She was with him until he died.
He died at age 70 and was buried in Paris at the Cimetiere des Batignolles.
After he died, his daughter Aube, who was raised by Elisa and Breton, let students and investigators who had the right to do so use his personal library and collections at home.
Several of his writings and works were published after he died. This kept his legacy and Surrealism ideas alive. After he died, books like “Selected Poems,” “Perspective Cavaliere,” and “Poems of Andre Breton” came out.
In 2008, nine of his unpublished works and the well-known “Manifeste du Surrealism” were sold at auction.
Estimated Net worth
Andre is one of the richest Non-Fiction Authors and is on the list of the most popular Non-Fiction authors. Based on what we found on Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Andre Breton is worth about $1.5 million.
This famous French surrealist writer and poet was a big fan of collecting art and other artifacts. Over the course of his life, he gathered more than 5,300 items, including paintings, furniture, drawings, photographs, scripts, and Oceanic art.