Surrealist literary technique


After World War I, Europe was in misanthropic and anti-war moods.  Dadaism, which was an international artistic and literary movement in European countries, was born as a nihilistic  reaction against establishment, oppression and conformity.  Tristan Tzara who was a core member of Dadaism in Zurich declared “DADA DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING” in his book “Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries” in 1917.

“Every page should explode, either because of its profound gravity or its vortex, vertigo, newness, eternity, or because of its staggering absurdity, the enthusiasm of its principles, or its typography.”  – Tristan Tzara”Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries”


Gradually, some Dadaists were interested in Surrealism which was similar artistic and literary movement consecrated by Andre Breton in 1924.  Surrealists began to experiment with techniques such as automatic writing and poetry.  Also, they tried interactive co-creation that multiple writers add a few more lines after the sentence others wrote.


Dada and Surrealism

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Surrealism

Tristan Tzara. 1977. Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries, translated by Barbara Wright. London. John Calder. p.6.


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