André Breton : sketch for an early portrait - download pdf or read online

By Breton, André; Matthews, J. H.; Breton, André

ISBN-10: 0915027712

ISBN-13: 9780915027712

ISBN-10: 9027217327

ISBN-13: 9789027217325

ISBN-10: 9027279225

ISBN-13: 9789027279224

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Example text

In December of the following year, however, he was already in touch with Apollinaire. On December 21, 1915, the latter wrote to thank him for some verses titled "Décembre," where the elder writer detected more of Royère's influence than of Mallarmé's. " So however much one may wish to make of the boldness of "Décembre,"6 André Breton cannot be said to have thrown off tradition altogether, in early 1916. " When sending a copy to Valéry on January 9, he spoke of it in terms—"too regular," "an unfortunate effort"7—that leave us wondering why he could have wanted Valéry to examine the sonnet.

Events taking place that year would have disinclined Breton to speak of any form of poetry which, in his view, was Dada inspired. Yet he did not forego an opportunity to say something at the end of the year about Picabia's painting, which might, similarly, have merited neglect because its creator had been a friend and associate of Tristan Tzara's. However we look at things, it is impossible to attribute Breton's conduct to a tactical decision to refrain from alluding to poems by a man who, as it happened, had quarreled with Tzara earlier than he himself had done.

His early experience fostered a conviction that was never to leave him: that being a poet is a perpetual challenge, not a comfortable state of grace; that one has to work unceasingly at deserving the status of poet, at proving oneself worthy; that past achievements mean nothing and guarantee less, for it is always the next thing one writes that provides the measure of one's power as a poet. 38 André Breton For Breton the central problem was that the older poets, to whom his youth had inclined him to look with respect, were tradition-bound.

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André Breton : sketch for an early portrait by Breton, André; Matthews, J. H.; Breton, André


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