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Soon after the publication of the first Surrealist manifesto, on December 1, 1924, Breton released the introductory issue of the magazine The Surrealist Revolution (La Révolution surréaliste).

Časopis La Révolution surréaliste
Časopis La Révolution surréaliste

The history of the Surrealist movement can also be traced through the periodicals and publications produced by its members. Among the Surrealists, a periodical was seen as a powerful means through which they were able to express their views, launch their manifestos, and disseminate the movement’s ideas across Europe, and later on in America. These familiarised the public with the group’s literary achievements, but also provided the forum intended for the exploration of the unconscious, the interpretation of dreams, and automatic writing, which were only some of the fields that the Surrealists were interested in. In the later, more turbulent periods for the Surrealist movement, a periodical was also a place where the conflicts and disagreements within the group would be displayed.        

In 1919 in Paris, in the period prior to the formal constitution of the Surrealist movement, the magazine Littérature made its debut under the direction of André Breton, Louis Aragon, and Philippe Soupault. Intermittantly, the magazine was published until June 1924. In its issues from October to Decembre 1919, it was precisely in this magazine that  the first Surrealist text, Les Champs Magnétiques, produced through the use of automatic writing, and authored jointly by Breton and Soupault, was published.     

The publication of the Manifesto of Surrealism (Le Manifeste du surréalisme) in October 1924 marked André Breton’s final break with the Dada movement. The Manifesto gave the formal definition of Surrealism and established Breton’s position as the leading figure of the new movement, as well as earning him the support of many authors who initially participated in the Paris Dada group. Aragon, Éluard, but also writers such as René Crevel and Philippe Soupault, were among those to join the new movement.            

Soon after the publication of the first Surrealist manifesto, on December 1, 1924, Breton released the introductory issue of the magazine The Surrealist Revolution (La Révolution surréaliste). The twelfth and last issue of The Surrealist Revolution was put out on Decembre 15, 1929, and in it Breton published his Second Manifesto of Surrealism. This declaration signalled the end to the years of the most intense activities of the Surrealist movement, and the beginning of disagreements among many of the movement’s proponents.         

At the same time, the journal Documents was published in Paris, edited by Georges Bataille, and including as its contributors some of the authors who distanced themselves from the original Surrealist group’s core, like André Masson, Joan Miró, and Michel Leiris. Supposed to counter the mainstream of Surrealism lead by Breton, its first issue appeared in April 1929. At the end of 1930, after fifteen issues, the journal was put to rest.        

With a group of his like-minded friends André Breton developed a new, more politically engaged publication. In July 1930, the first issue of the magazine Surrealism in the Service of the Revolution (Le Surréalisme au service de la Révolution) was published in Paris. Except Breton, the contributing authors were Louis Aragon, Paul Éluard, René Char, Yves Tanguy, Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, and others. The magazine was put out sporadically, with the last, sixth issue published in 1933.     

Albert Skira published the predominantly Surrealist-oriented review Minotaure. The first issue appeared in 1933 in Paris, and for the next six years the total of twelve issues was produced, with the last issue released in February 1939. Among its many collaborators were André Breton and Paul Éluard, and this review can be said to have considerably contributed to the wide acceptance that the movement was met with in its later years.      

As war became imminent, many Surrealist publications were shut down, and some of the movement’s members departed for USA. Once in New York they immediately set up a new publication, and as early as September 1940 the first issue of the magazine View appears, edited by Charles Henry Ford, which ran for 31 issue until 1947. Another magazine was VVV, which was published by young American sculptor David Hare. Its first issue was released in October 1942, and it contained one text by Breton; the last issue was put out in February 1944.      

The representatives of the Surrealist movement created a series of highly relevant literary works, some of which are: Le paysan de Paris (Paris Peasant) (1926), and Le traité du style (Treatise on Style) (1928), by Louis Aragon; Nadja (1928), Les Vases communicants (Communicating Vessels) (1932), and L'Amour fou (Mad Love) (1937), by André Breton; La Liberté ou l’amour! (Liberty or Love!) (1927) by Robert Desnos; Mourir de ne pas mourir (To Die from Not Dying) (1924), La Rose publique (The Public Rose) (1934), by Paul Éluard, and many others.