By Breton, André; Matthews, J. H.; Breton, André
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Extra info for André Breton : sketch for an early portrait
18): Guillaume Apollinaire. "1 Pastoureau 33 34 André Breton intimates that on the eve of the 1914-18 war, André Breton was still devoted to poetry of a kind which he would spend his adult life ridiculing, that he was still intent on reaching poetry by concentrating on external aspects of the poetic text for which, before long, he would have nothing but contempt. Such an interpretation suggests that Breton found his way, as a poet, only by systematically revising propositions upon which his concept of poetic expression originally rested, as though he had grasped—largely thanks to Apollinaire, one may suppose—a formula of negation which would bring the poetic into clear view.
In an essay called "Idées d'un peintre" (on the ideas of the painter André Derain), reprinted in Les Pas perdus from Littérature, March 1921, Breton wrote, "Derain is not a subjectivist" (p. 109). He went on to report that Derain had declared himself incompetent to judge, when asked to give his opinion of one of Picabia's projects: gathering about twenty billiard balls in the corner of a pool table, then pushing them all out at once, before photographing and signing the result. How could Derain, laboring under the disadvantage isolated by Breton, have understood the latter's assessment of Picabia's proposal: "That is a magic operation, rather than a work of art" (pp.
K. Huysmans, and Gustave Moreau, in Entretiens Breton remarked, "You cannot know how important it was to me to approach those who at that time continued this tradition" (p. 11). The first of the latter whom he came to know was Jean Royère, whose "superbly hermetic poetry" continued to impress him at the time he was interviewed on radio. Entretiens lists others—Vielé-Griffin, René Ghil, SaintPol-Roux, and Valéry—and then, by an odd process telescoping two years (it took Breton almost until the end of 1915 to begin corresponding with him), a "poetic figure of the very first rank" (p.
André Breton : sketch for an early portrait by Breton, André; Matthews, J. H.; Breton, André