Sims Reed Rare Books×

La Revolution et les Intellectuels. Que Peuvent Faire les Surréalistes? [WITH:] Légitime Défense. September 1926[AND:] Au Grand Jour. Paris. 1927

Naville, Pierre / André Breton

Paris. 1926–1927
Benjamin Péret's copy of Pierre Naville's renowned manifesto highlighting the tensions between Trotskyist Surrealists and Stalinist Surrealists.

Naville, originally a member of Breton's coterie, left Surrealism for the Communist party in 1926 after experiencing one of Breton's notorious personal attacks. That year he was to publish this important pamphlet in which he argues that Surrrealism and Marxism are incompatible, as the Surrealists were too individualist and bourgeois to contribute to the collective 'disciplined action of class struggle' necessary to overthrow capitalism.

This copy from the collection of Benjamin Péret, with two signed presentations on the title: from Naville: 'à Benjamin Péret / rédacteur à l'Humanité', and from André Breton: 'à Benjamin Péret / l'ésprit calque / AB'.

Breton responded in September 1926 with his own pamphlet 'Légitime Défense', which is also present here. In it Breton not only rebuts Naville's attack but also the refusal of the entire Communist Party to take Surrealism seriously. This copy with initialled inscription from André Breton: 'A Albert Valentin son ami'.

A third pamphlet is present - the collective Surrealist tract 'Au Grand Jour' published in May 1927, in which Breton, Aragon, Eluard and others again espouse the socio-political nature of Surrealism, and rail against those who were deemed by the Surrealist hierarchy to lack the requisite degree of political engagement - figures such as Artaud and Philippe Soupault. This copy stamped 'Specimen' on front wrapper.
pp. 32. 3 vols. Small 4to. + 8vo. + 12mo. Full black calf by Miguet with his signature and dated 1971, with polished onlay panels of bright crimson on both front and rear boards, original wrappers preserved (the additional pamphlets housed in pockets of inner front and rear boards), slipcase.

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