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Originating in 1916 with the avant-garde Dada movement at the famous Caf Voltaire in Zurich, surrealism aimed to unleash the powers of the creative act without thinking. Max Ernst, Andr Breton, Tristan Tzara, Paul luard, Philippe Soupault, and Louis Aragon created a movement that spread wildly to all corners of the globe, inspiring not only poetry but also artists like Joan Miro and Ren Magritte and cinematic works by Antonin Artaud, Luis Bunuel, and Salvador Dal . As the editor, Mary Ann Caws, says, "Essential to surrealist behavior is a constant state of openness, of readiness for whatever occurs, whatever marvelous object we might come across, manifesting itself against the already thought, the already lived."
Here are the gems of this major, mind-bending aesthetic, political, and humane movement: writers as diverse as Aragon, Breton, Dal , Ren Char, Robert Desnos, Mina Loy, Paul Magritte, Alice Paalen, Gisele Prassinos, Man Ray, Kay Sage, and Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven are included here, providing a grand picture of this revolutionary movement that shocked the world.