BRETON André (1896-1966).

Lot 19
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BRETON André (1896-1966).
MANUSCRIT autograph "André Breton", Une maison peu solide, [1919]; 1 page in-4. Beautiful prose poem dedicated to Tristan Tzara. The manuscript, well calligraphed in poet blue ink, is signed at the end, above the underlined dedication "to Tristan Tzara". It bears a subtitle, in slanted handwriting: "The guardian of the work is a victim of his devotion". The prose poem, Une maison peu solide, was first published in André Breton's first collection, Mont de piété (1919). A letter from Breton to Tzara, dated April 20, 1919, indicates that this text was originally intended for the journal Dada 5: "As for my miscellaneous fact, would you like to have it laid out across the width of a newspaper column [...] Would you like to accept the dedication of Une maison? That pleases me. Breton finally published his poem Pour Lafcadio in Dada 5, but he kept the dedication to Tzara when it was published in Mont de piété. This is one of Breton's very first prose poems, whose writing puts into practice the "détournement" inspired by Lautréamont, taking a news item from a newspaper, of which Breton has only changed the names, and relating the collapse of a building under construction, on rue des Martyrs, burying under its rubble the janitor of the construction site, while he had shouted to save a child who was running down the street on a scooter. Breton changed the name of this guard to Guillaume Apollinaire, to whom the young poet was then referring. And it is delicious to see the poet of Alcools appear as a "savior, well known to his entourage under the name of Guillaume Apollinaire [who] could have been about sixty years old [, who] had won the work medal [and whom] his companions valued. As the poem is dedicated to Tristan Tzara, this singular "false news story" takes on a remarkable poetic meaning. As Marguerite Bonnet writes (Breton Œuvres complètes, Pléiade, p. 1097): "This pseudo-poem is thus part of the great enterprise of underground destruction of the poetry of which Breton dreams then and of which the exaltation of the advertisement, the collages are other aspects. It is not indifferent to note that it is on April 15, 1919 that Breton finishes copying Ducasse's Poetry at the National Library. [It is also obvious that the choice of Guillaume Apollinaire's name as the savior of the young Lespoir constitutes at the same time a distance and an ambiguous homage: recognition of Apollinaire's contribution to modern poetry and refusal of what he meant by "l'esprit nouveau". It is in the n° 2 of April 1919 of the review Littérature, that appeared the signature of Tristan Tzara, showing the approach of the young surrealists with Dada.
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