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Manuscript of the seventh lecture of Breton in Port-au-Prince, given on February 8th, 1946. It will be published in the Pléiade library in 1992.

The seventh lecture of Breton in Port-au-Prince, was given towards the beginning of February 1946, in a rather troubled context; the events occurred in a rushed manner (a political agitation which brought about the departure of the president, and in which, even if it has been exaggerated, the Breton lectures apparently had their impact: see the notes of volume III in the Pléiade on Breton’s lecture at the Savory Club, in Alentours I). Breton speaks of Rimbaud and Mallarmé, which isn’t without interest for us, because his work rarely refers to the second, often masked by Valéry. The text of this lecture has been published in the Inedits I (Unpublished Texts I) of the third volume of the Pléiade.

Lectures (Haiti, Martinique) 1945-1946.
Seventh lecture, autograph manuscript, February 8th, 1946.

- 6 pages, large folio in-4°, autograph manuscript, written by Breton, including corrections of this seventh lecture relating to the poetic work of Stéphane Mallarmé and Rimbaud.

"For Mallarmé, in the sonorous envelope of a word, there exists a "real essence": close to the primary organism of life, says Mallarmé, the word presents in its vowels and diphthongs, a kind of flesh, but the spirit that animates it participates more in a fallen world that delivers our senses from an ideal mode, than the lost beauty of our dream "pressing against a past heaven." It is not an exaggeration to say that Mallarmé, searches here, to convey prerogatives of the divine verb.

“That is, gentlemen, narrated in terms as concisely as possible, the unique life Rimbaud. Let’s not forget that the poet’s work – consisting of the poems in Illuminations and in Saison en enfer – ends in 1873, i.e. when Rimbaud was 19 years old, and that during the 18 years of the second part of his life he showed not the least willingness to return to his poetical activity, and moreover behaved in all as if it never had existed, dismissing it with a foul and irrevocable epithet whenever someone alluded to it in his presence. One has naturally gone on and on arguing and still can argue about so definite a meaning of such a contemptuous renouncement. Among the assumptions advanced, none of which can pretend to be restrictive of the others, the one that stands out most for me - maybe because it is simply the most human - is the one confidentially given by the two young authors [of a show], played in Paris in the wake of the War entitled "Rimbaud, the lost child". [According to them, the desire of Rimbaud to express himself couldn’t survive the pistol shot in Brussels and the ensuing police interrogation. It had been for him a profanation of the poetic origin itself.” [Auction catalogue, 2003]



- André Breton, (Édition de Marguerite Bonnet avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier, Marie-Claire Dumas, Étienne-Alain Hubert et José Pierre), Inédits I, Œuvres complètes, tome III, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 1999, p. 312-322.

Creation date08/02/1946
Bibliographical material6 pages foliotées grand in-4°
Date of publication 1946
Number of pages6 p.
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2263
Keywords, , , ,
CategoriesAndre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[AB's Manuscripts] Haïti
ExhibitionSérie de conférences en Haïti
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