The key to surrealism


The stumbling block in the texts resulting from consciously spontaneous écriture automatique as used by the surrealist André Breton is integrity, which should be an inherent quality of a work of art. At about the same time the same question of integrity was raised in connection with dodecaphonic serialism. An answer can be found in the psychology of thinking, where thinking is defined as problem solving, while a difference is made between motoric, imaginative and rational ways of thinking. Ecriture automatique represents instinctive thinking, which is a synthesis of motoric and imaginary thinking. This is something we share with animals and which enables humans to produce just texts. An artistic work, however, is a product of cooperation between imaginative and conceptual thinking. This is the line followed by Roland Barthes in differentiating between “style” as the author’s “psychophysical state” and écritureas “literary tact”. Vaguely, the difference is also made by the dodecaphonic composer Anton von Webern. A surrealist text becomes literature from the moment its creation ceases to be instinctive, turning intuitive. Only, can it be called surrealist any more?


Aristoteles  1982. Luulekunstist. – Keel ja Kirjandus, nr 7, lk 337–356.

Barthes 1983 = Ролан Барт, Нулевая степень письма. – Ю. С. Степанов (ред), Семиотика. Москва: Радуга, 1983, lk 306–349.

Breton, André 1981. Manifeste du surréalisme. – Écrits sur l’art et manifestes des écrivains français. Moscou: Éditions du Progrès.

Cameron, Julia 2000. Der Weg des Künstlers. München: Droemersche Verlagsanstalt Th. Knaur Nachf.

Ginzburg 1975 = Лео Гинзбург (ред, сост), Дирижерское исполнительство. Практика, история, эстетика. Москва: Музыка.

Goethe, [Johann Wolfgang von] 1950. Goethes poetische Werke. Vollständige Ausgabe. Zweiter Band: West-östlicher Divan, Epen, Maximen und Reflexionen. Stuttgart: J. G. Cotta’sche Buchhandlung Nachfolger.

Jakobson, Roman, Halle, Morris 1956. Fundamentals of language. ’S-Gravenhage: Mouton.

Krõlov, Ivan 1969. Valitud valmid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat.

Ormesson, Jean d’ 1997. Une autre histoire de la littérature française. Paris: NiL éditions.

Priimägi, Linnar 2005. Klassitsim (I–III). Inimkeha retoorika klassitsistliku kujutavkunsti kaanonites. Monograafia. Tallinn: Tallinna Ülikool.

Webern, Anton 1960. Der Weg zur neuen Musik. Wien: Universal Edition A.G.

Webern  1975 = Антон Веберн, Лекции о музыке. Письма. Москва: Музыка.