A Contemporary Scientific Study of André Breton’s Automatic Writing
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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