The Scrap Book, an album of news paper clippings, post cards, and photographs from Canada and the U.S. begins in 1944, three years after André Breton's exile from France. The first three pages are devoted to articles and pictures of the Gaspésie, a peninsula in the south-eastern part of Quebec where André Breton and Elisa Claro vacationed. These first pages seem to recall the mystical importance of this trip which would culminate in the publishing of Arcane 17 at Breton's return to New York. The following pages contain article clippings on the political, literary and artistic events which took place just before and after the end of World War II. Also included throughout the pages are articles on uncanny contemporaneous events such as "Une cité morte" ("A Dead City") which piqued Breton's interest.
Breton also saved documents related to art exhibits within the Scrap Book. A catalogue from the Miró exhibit at the Gallery Pierre Matisse in 1945, and a very rare invitation created by Marcel Duchamp to an exhibit called "Through the big end of this opera glass" in which he participated with Yves Tanguy and Joseph Cornell. On the external page of the invitation there is an illustration from each of the three participants, and on the internal page is a chess board printed in red ink with the following directions : "Look through from other side against light" which when accompished allows one to read: "White to play and win."
Also found within the album is a loose sheet of paper, on which Andre Breton wrote in green ink a list of the titles of prefaces and texts published in surrealist journals. (ex. Minotaure n° 6... Vie légendaire de Max Ernst... View n° 9).
The Scrap Book, surrealist in the context of the collection, exists somewhere between a souvenir book and a collage and acts as a figure of assemblage in which Breton continued to collect signs of the marvelous while living in North America.
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