André Breton

(1896-1966), French poet, essayist, critic, and editor, chief promoter and one of the founders of Surrealist movement with Paul Eluard, Josef Agnon, Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali, and Jean Cocteau among other, was born in Tinchebray (Orne). Breton joined first in 1916 the Dadaist group, but turned then to Surrealism and cofounded with Louis Aragon and Philippe Soupault the review Littérature. His MANIESTE DU SURRÉALISME was published in 1924. Influenced by psychological theories Breton defined Surrealism as a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to everyday world. When the Nazis occupied France, Breton fled to the United States with Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst. He held there a broadcasting job and arranged a surrealist exposition at Yale in 1942.  After WW II Breton travelled in the Southwest and the West Indies and returned to France in 1946. He soon became center of young Surrealists. In the 1940s and 1950s Breton wrote essays and collections of poems, among them ARCANE 17 (1945), a statement of love. He died in Paris on September 28, 1966.