André Breton

Born 18 February 1896 in Tinchebray, France. French critic, writer, and poet. At the beginning of World War I, he was a student of medicine and particularly interested in psychiatry. In 1916 he met Jacques Vaché, a legendary predecessor of dadaism. His first publications were influenced by Rimbaud. When Tristan Tzara came to Paris from Zürich in 1916, Breton joined the Paris DaDa movement together with his friends Paul Eluard and Phillipe Soupalt. The periodical "Littérature," of which Breton was co-founder, served the cause of the dadaists. Breton played an important part in the earlier DaDa publications in Paris. In 1921 he broke with Tzara and the Parisian dadaists. Published his "Manifeste du Surréaliste." Somewhat later, he was co-editor of the periodical "La Révolution surréaliste" (1924-29), and thus founded the school of literary surrealism, of which he became the most important theorist.