Ian Forsyth's Reviews > Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton

Revolution of the Mind by Mark Polizzotti
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's review
Jul 20, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: bohemians, paris, revolution, writing, scholarly, historical, avant-garde

Breton is not necessarily someone likable. His ilk is to be of moody austerity, trying to put a self-control and authority over the uncontrolled: the unconscious (a disappointing meeting with Freud shows up), madness (Antonin Artaud runs the surrealist camp for a time before losing his wits and describing the authoritarian Breton as a shining god), class (he aligns with Trotsky in Mexico), and the avant-garde (where he idolizes the old guard and follows their models of poetry only later to overthrow their relations (Dada) and make new ones (his many magazines), a continuing cycle of recycling who interests him as new and playing a double agent between the different literary camps of Paris).

Breton was defiantly the driving force in Surrealism, others like Dali jumped aboard and used it as they needed. Breton liked the evil twisted jester like side of Parisian literature: Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Lautreamont. He was compared to a mummy, a vulture, a dictator, a Machiavelli. He indulged in to mind certainly more then the flesh or the drug, he wanted to tap some revelation into the Absurd.

The book which I got through except the last few sections is exciting until we move out of the 20s and past Trotsky.
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Reading Progress

July 20, 2011 – Shelved
August 5, 2011 – Started Reading
September 24, 2011 – Finished Reading
January 28, 2017 – Shelved as: bohemians
January 28, 2017 – Shelved as: paris
January 28, 2017 – Shelved as: revolution
January 28, 2017 – Shelved as: writing
January 28, 2017 – Shelved as: scholarly
January 28, 2017 – Shelved as: historical
January 28, 2017 – Shelved as: avant-garde

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