Some interesting tidbits from The Politics of Surrealism by Helena Lewis (NY: Paragon House, 1988)

“[Surrealism] tried to link together two revolutions: that of the mind, by liberating the unconscious, and the social and economic revolution of the masses. The Surrealists always maintained that one of the most important ways to undermine capitalism is to destroy the supremacy of bourgeois rationalism and this is precisely what they aimed for in the art.” [173]

J. P. Sartre [who was then aligned with the CP, with which Breton and the Surrealists had broken, mainly over Socialist Realism and artistic strictures] criticized the Surrealists thus:

“I recognize in no uncertain terms that Surrealism is the only poetic movement of the first half of the twentieth century; I even recognize that in a certain way it contributes to the liberation of man. But what it liberates is…pure imagination”


“If Breton thinks he can pursue his inner experiences on the margin of revolutionary activity and parallel to it, he is condemned in advance, fot that would amount to saying that a freedom of spirit is conceivable in chains, at least for certain people, and, consequently, to making revolution less urgent” [both from What is Literature, cited on p. 166]