Full text: The little review (9 (1923), 4)

Besides a solution is not easy and with a smile Tristan Tzara 
remarks “the absence of system is but another system.” But it is 
chiefly the lack of power to insist on life without tradition which 
condemns us to petty forms of snobism, to petty vices, to the taste 
of hysterical women, to sleeping cars and to dynamos, that is to 
say, to the worst and most popular type of literature in a century 
in which everyone boasts of not being literary. There results an 
excessive glory for certain authors (as a matter of fact, I can 
think of but one of them, Paul Morand, but the enormity of his 
success merits the pain of the plural) who know how to flatter 
men and to put into their books such an impersonality that under 
the disguise of a false exotism each one thinks that he recognizes 
himself, tells his neighbour, who in his turn buys for himself, 
at a bargain, that which he finds a flattering portrait of his own 
little person. This is “real twentieth century,” people say of 
such a work, as if there could possibly be a real twentieth cen 
tury brand of work. As for me if anyone would accept the 
challenge I should like to wager and to demonstrate that Homer 
was Dada, Sainte Cecilia a famous futurist and Tristan Tzara 
under the influence of Aeschylus. 
But since it is necessary sometimes to speak seriously, that is 
with the help of phrases known to us all, we notice that objects 
have no other role than to move the subject, rhythm differs ac 
cording to individuals; certainly the real individual must not 
be confounded with the apparent man whom we see at the thea 
tre, on the street; I have said real individual but to avoid all 
confusion the better term would be superreal individual. 
No one has better described this superreal individual than 
Andre Breton. I shall quote from an article of his which ap 
peared in La Revue Litterature in which he treats of super 
realism. “The word superrealism which is not our invention 
and which we should have been so well able to abandon to the 
vaguest critical vocabulary, is employed by us in a precise sense. 
By it we have agreed to indicate a certain automatism which 
corresponds fairly well to a dream state, a state which is today 
very difficult to place any limits upon. I beg pardon for adding 
a personal observation here. In 1919 my attention was fixed 
upon the more or less partial phrases which in complete solitude, 
at the approach of slumber, become perceptible to the mind

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