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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?