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Un usage particulier de la psychanalyse : André Breton, penseur de Freud

Abstract : What knowledge did André Breton have about psychoanalysis in order to consider it the “muse of surrealism”? What were the crucial elements of this movement established by Breton himself that allowed him to forge a method for exploring the unconscious - a complementary and even superior method to psychoanalysis, the novelty scientific discipline born in the first decades of the 20th century? This project explores what place and status the artist could assume from scientific point of view, accepting the premise that the artist has been refused, for a very long time, the possibility to inquire into the nature and functioning of human psyche, and thus to offer answers to existential questions. The latter sums up the essence of the surrealist project and efforts - a bid for the reinstitution of imagination and poetry to a place that has been illegitimately overtaken by reason.Even if Freud seemingly agrees that artists possess certain precious qualities able to inspire explorers of psychoanalysis, and if imagination admittedly occupies an important place in his subjects’ psyche (two major facts that attract the young André Breton), the Viennese psychiatrist has always been faithful to the rationalist and positivist thought which dominates his century. Reason should be able to triumph over dream, fantasy and all that is imaginary in order to construct an identical reality accessible to all, according to the universal principle. In this perspective, there could be no dialogue or even any understanding between Freud and Breton, a discord which, ultimately, would not discourage the impetuous desire and willingness of the surrealist poet to establish a bridge between the imaginary and the reality by the means of what Freud would call “the unconscious”. What is more, to understand the points of convergence and divergence between the Freudian and the Bretonian thought which would allow for the full comprehension of the richness and depth of the surrealist theory, it is useful to highlight other influences on Breton’s perception and understanding of psychoanalysis. Influences such as the associationism of Taine bearing the mark of Condillac’s sensualism, or even Nerval’s symbolism and mythology, served as the basis for the fundamental notion which permeated the framework of the surrealist thought: the desire. Looking at the concept of desire would best allow to measure the rift between surrealism and psychoanalysis, or at least to measure a certain philosophy of desire akin to both freudism and surrealism. It is therefore this conceptual point, desire, which would allow these two artistic and scientific disciplines to acknowledge the distance between them, a distance spanning from intimate to abysmal, separating the artist and the scientist in the way they define (ethos), live (pathos) and express (logos) desire.
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Philippe Belardi. Un usage particulier de la psychanalyse : André Breton, penseur de Freud. Philosophie. Université Côte d'Azur, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019AZUR2024⟩. ⟨tel-02481321⟩

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