These young experimenters create the magazine Littérature and highlight their precursors : Dostoevski, Lautréamont. Their common point is the rejection of classical literature and especially of the novel. For the rest, despite Breton's ambition, the group's cohesion is an illusion. Have they ever questioned why readers outside their small circle could be interested in the irrational text from their subconscious ?
They had been close to Dada that vanished for the same reason. They do not have the monopoly of publishing : when Joyce's Ulysses is released in Paris in 1922, this use of the stream of consciousness in the production of a novel baffles Breton. To avoid being for or against, he does not read it.
In the spring of 1924 Breton is seized with a frenzy of automatic writing. He prepares about a hundred "historiettes" on school notebooks and plans to put together a selection in a book titled Poisson Soluble. At that point Breton finally considers that a theoretical introduction will restrain the hostile comments of the critics. During the summer he prepares a Préface for Poisson Soluble under the aggressive title Manifeste du Surréalisme. He finishes in September the copying of the 31 stories of the Poisson Soluble.
The desire for a cohesion remains ineffective. The Manifeste is a theoretical text but the subconscious had contributed and Breton does not want to rework it. In 1929 he prepares the Second Manifeste du Surréalisme.
The most important autograph manuscripts on Poisson Soluble and the Manifeste of 1924 had been preserved by Simone Collinet, the first wife of Breton, and were sold in nine lots by Sotheby's on May 21, 2008. Acquired by Aristophil, they are for sale in three lots by Aguttes in Paris (Hôtel Drouot) on December 20. Purchased by Aristophil from another source, the autograph manuscript of the Second Manifeste is listed in the same auction. The four lots will be sold separately and then followed by an option of global bidding.
The Manifeste of 1924, sold for € 1.9M including premium in 2008, is estimated € 600K, lot 53. The final manuscript of Poisson Soluble, sold for € 900K including premium in 2008, is estimated € 900K, lot 54. The seven automatic notebooks from the Collinet collection, which do not constitute a complete set, were sold individually in 2008 for a total of € 820K including premium and are now grouped in lot 55 estimated € 2M. The Second Manifeste accompanied by printing proofs corrected by the author (illustrated in the tweet below) is estimated € 1M, lot 56.
Please watch the video shared by Aguttes.