The Invention of Politics in the European Avant-Garde (1906-1940)

By Sascha Bru; Gunther Martens | Go to book overview

Surrealism and the Political. The Case of Nadja

Raymond Spiteri

It is, as it were, from the fortuitous juxtaposition of the two terms that a
particular light has sprung, the light of the image, to which we are infinitely
sensitive. The value of the image depends upon the beauty of the spark
obtained; it is, consequently, a function of the difference of potential
between the two conductors. (André Breton 1924a: 37)

This essay discusses the implications of the convergence of Surrealism and communism on a reading of André Breton's Nadja (1928). It locates the book in the context of Surrealism's political position to explore how the construction of Nadja manifests Surrealism's ongoing engagement with what Claude Lefort has called "the political". In this context Nadja is not simply an account of Breton's encounter with a young woman on the streets of Paris – although this is the principal thread of the narrative – but also an attempt to work through the political impasse that confronted Breton in the course of 1927.

Breton met Nadja in October 1926 and began to write his account of their relationship in August 1927 (Bonnet 1988: 1502-04). These dates bracket a series of meetings of the Surrealists that eventually led to Breton joining the Parti communiste français (PCF) in January 1927. According to Breton's Second manifeste du Surréalisme (1929: 142-43) and Entretiens (1952: 127), the party hierarchy subjected his revolutionary credentials to close examination. As a result of this incommodious welcome and continuing suspicion from his fellow comrades, Breton's tenure as a militant was short-lived, and he soon withdrew from active participation in the PCF.

-183-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Invention of Politics in the European Avant-Garde (1906-1940)
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 292

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.