The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Juan Larrea, the Spanish writer living in exile in Mexico, refers to an article by André Breton (“Situación del surrealismo entre las dos guerras” [The State of Surrealism between the Two Wars]), in which the leader of the movement outlines a brief sketch of its history. Larrea discusses Surrealism’s goals and accomplishments during times of great confusion, as in the years between the wars. The critic notes that, though the movement is descended from the accursed artists of German romanticism, it has not driven any of its followers to suicide or insanity. It has, however, produced extreme exponents such as the painter Salvador Dalí, who has actually set a standard for shamelessness. Larrea also discusses the spiritual side of Surrealism that usually contributes an anti-Christian undertone to the works (in his view, there is nothing worthy of attention in those traditions.) As a counterpoint to that aspect, Larrea looks instead at primitive societies that elevated the witch doctor to the role of poet.
Over the course of a long essay divided into four parts, the poet from Bilbao, Juan Larrea (1895-1980) attempts to define the Surrealist movement. He stresses, as does André Breton (1896-1966), the movement’s development between the two world wars (1914-18 to 1939-45), when it emerged and evolved. In fact, in the critic’s view, Surrealism arose from the ashes of the European war. His article both defines the movement and reflects on the origins of artistic phenomena. The Basque writer believes that Cubism reflects the rupture of the appearance of reality that has afflicted our awareness since that period; Surrealism, on the other hand, reminds us that we really have come to the end of a particular world. (See the second and third part of the text in doc. no. 772520, and the fourth in doc. no. 772528.)