A Contemporary Scientific Study of André Breton’s Automatic Writing

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  • Víctor Hugo Martínez Bravo Universitat Pompeu Fabra

https://doi.org/10.17583/brac.2021.6341

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Abstract

This paper proposes a new scientific way to study the concept and technique of automatic writing in Surrealism. Based on the specialists of André Breton’s work and the experts of automatism, we expose here the literary, psychiatric, neurological and parapsychological influences that Breton had to create his own concept and writing technique. We suggest here that we have to add to all these influences, the spiritist one, specifically, that of Allan Kardec, whose doctrine and concepts, such as psychography, were a direct impact to the surrealist automatic writing, even when Breton wanted to dissociate his movement from Kardec’s doctrine. Automatic writing has been studied from many angles, specially from literary and art theory and criticism, but also from history of science, philosophy, neurology, psychology and psychiatry and even from occultism, hermeticism and esoterism. Nevertheless, we don’t know any contemporary scientific experiment on this surrealist practice, maybe because materialist principles that support traditional Neurosciences are unable to study automatic writing. For this reason, we propose to study automatic writing, not from regular Neuroscience principles that we disapprove here, but from a post-materialist Neuroscience viewpoint, which agrees with the values that Surrealism defended

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Author Biography

Víctor Hugo Martínez Bravo, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Víctor Hugo Martínez Bravo (Ciudad de México, 1983) es Licenciado en Literatura y maestro en Teoría y crítica literaria latinoamericana por la Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), obtuvo el Máster en Estudios Comparados en Literatura, Arte y Pensamiento en la Universitat Pompeu Fabra y  es Doctor en Humanidades en la misma institución. Ganó el Premio de Ensayo Punto de Partida UNAM 2013. Es colaborador de la revista Crítica de la Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, y es autor de Su majestad pone la música (La Cleta Cartonera, 2015).

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Published

2021-06-03

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Martínez Bravo, V. H. (2021). A Contemporary Scientific Study of André Breton’s Automatic Writing. Barcelona Research Art Creation, 9(2), 161–184. https://doi.org/10.17583/brac.2021.6341

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