By Breton, André; Matthews, J. H.; Breton, André
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Additional resources for André Breton : sketch for an early portrait
Analyzing Breton's remarks on Francis Picabia does not yield all the answers one could possibly wish to have regarding the relationship between the two men, the effect of their exchange of ideas over the span of several years, and so on. And this will be just as true of reading what Breton wrote about Guillaume Apollinaire, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, or Jacques Vaché. Yet analysis of Bretonian texts affords us valuable insights into the mind of their author. It teaches something important about Breton's attitude and conduct vis-à-vis individuals he judged to be already forging ahead and hence as lighting the way for him, even though not all of them were concerned to help map the route he would soon make his own.
On the contrary, Breton seems to have been more disposed to apology than to self-justification. A letter dated April 27, 1922, opens, 'T had been feeling afraid of having upset you again. Your card gave me great pleasure. You know with what impatience I had awaited your return. When I was told you had just left Paris for Barcelona, I was really hurt. Is it possible that we have been so suspicious of one another! I cannot explain, once again, what came over me: the more I question myself, the more I feel that I have not stopped loving you, that your presence in Paris is very necessary to me and that it is pure perverseness to behave at every moment as if it were not" (Sanouillet, p.
Nor can we ignore the presence in Breton's writings of a certain lyricism, intensifying though not illuminating his prose. Breton would have been the last to place on an equal footing with poetry the lyrical language of the essay "Francis Picabia" in Les Pas perdus. Yet it was the function of that text, and of others like it, to intimate their author's awareness of a poetic vein running through the work that had occasioned their composition. 3 Breton was no more explicit in his private correspondence than in print when commenting on the qualities that had fired and kept alive his enthusiasm for Picabia.
André Breton : sketch for an early portrait by Breton, André; Matthews, J. H.; Breton, André