By Breton, André; Matthews, J. H.; Breton, André
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Extra info for André Breton : sketch for an early portrait
Whatever his motive, however, Breton had no excuse for omitting to give Picabia credit for exemplary investigative activity, not as early as Pablo Picasso, possibly, but still of significance in the history of emergent surrealism. Could it be that in 1927 André Breton saw less to admire in and so learned less from Picabia than readers of a certain 1922 catalog preface might suppose? There is no hope of our managing to deal with this question unless we have first responded to another, which we do not have enough information to answer.
It remains in perfect accord with the essay "Francis Picabia": "You are, for me, virtually alone incapable of being mistaken and of ever disappointing me," he asserted in a pneumatique sent at the end of June 1923 (Sanouillet, p. 532). Toward the close of a long letter in which he confessed to feeling depressed, he told Picabia on September 19, 1923, "You know that your ideas, your attitudes more or less slowly are gaining ground with me but that they are still doing so, and that at the end of the road I am discovering a man, a friend even more marvelous" (Sanouillet, p.
Accepting it without question, we lose sight of the hesitations and soul-searching which brought André Breton to the point where the idea of surrealism began taking shape in his mind. Asked what kind of texts he was writing as a neophyte poet, Breton explained in an interview granted Madeleine Chapsal for L'Express (August 9, 1962), "Mallarmé exerted the greatest influence over me at that time, so I was writing poems, or prose, in Mallarmean form. I say form because, on account of my inexperience in life, once again substance was lacking" (p.