14 June 2011


(In Entretiens Breton goes over the incidents that led to the rift. Ilya Ehrenbourg had written a book, Seen by a Writer from U.S.S. R., in which he had insulted the surrealists by treating them as loafers and suggesting that they had squandered their wives’ dowries. Meeting him one day on a street in Paris on the eve of the Congress, Breton had given in to the impulse of slapping Ehrenbourg in the face. As a result Breton was not permitted to give his scheduled speech at the Congress. All the pleadings of his colleagues were of no avail. This refusal disturbed RenĂ© Crevel to such an extent that he committed suicide as an act of protest on the eve of the meeting. Finally, Eluard was allowed to read Breton’s statement but he was rudely interrupted in the middle of it and was not allowed to finish. After that, Breton would never again have anything to do with U.S.S.R. and called it a land of tyranny.)

1 comment:

  1. Two notes: 1) This post treats the U.S.S.R. very unfairly. 2) Crevel's act smells melodramatic, which suggests that this may have been an improper way for him to react. Maybe a more surreal response was necessary.