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Texte manuscrit de la quatrième conférence, prononcée le vendredi 25 janvier 1946 et qui sera reprise dans les Inédits I du troisième volume de la Pléiade en 1992.

After his arrival at Port-au-Prince with Elisa on December 4th, 1945, Breton gave a series of conferences starting from the 20th. We have here the text from the fourth lecture, given around January 25th, 1946, which will be included in the Inédits I (Unpublished Texts I) of the third volume of the Pléiade. Beginning with his thoughts on liberty and commenting on Helvétius, Breton undertakes an intellectual path that is quite political, particularly in regards to the utopists of the first part of the nineteenth century: Saint-Simon, Father (Barthélemy Prosper) Enfantin, and his great teacher, Charles Fourier, who Breton had only just discovered two or three years earlier, and to whom he began the year before to consecrate the famous “Ode,” and who constantly occupied his thoughts during the following decade.

Lectures (Haiti, Martinique) 1945-1946.
Fourth Lecture, Manuscript, January 25th, 1946.

- 15 pages folio in-4°, first draft manuscript in ink with numerous deletions and corrections made by André Breton. The lecture discussed: liberty, Saint-Simon and Charles Fourier.

"We cannot be surprised in these conditions that men from all of France, have incarnated the ideal of liberty and have been martyrs during the French Revolution, have never been asked to speak of liberty. It is like a thing on which all honest people agree, and about which we have avoided disagreements when we want at all costs, to define it.

"Henri de Saint-Simon was mayor of Paris in 1760 (he is therefore of the same generation as Lafayette and Danton) and belonged to the elite French aristocracy and attributed himself with titles of nobility as he pretended to be a descendent of Charlemagne, which did not keep him from renouncing, most willingly, his own titles under the revolution in order to become Simon, the citizen. I'm telling you this from the beginning so that you can quickly understand the depth of his character - all while being of aristocratic origins, Saint Simon never let his love for the people be compromised.

"The passions, according to Fourier are universally good; asceticism deceives itself in denying them, and it is upon the passions that our future society should be built. It is precisely the restraint -- today we would say the repression of passion-- that holds vice. This vice will disappear in a good social organization where the passions will no longer be driven away, but encouraged, and where it will be necessary to surveil their judicious use." [Auction catalogue, 2003]



- André Breton (Édition de Marguerite Bonnet avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier, Marie-Claire Dumas, Étienne-Alain Hubert et José Pierre), Inédits I, Œuvres complètes, tome III, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 1999, p. 252-274.

Creation date25/01/1946
Bibliographical material15 pages in-4°
Date of publication 1946
Place of origin
Number of pages15 p.
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2263
Keywords, , , , ,
CategoriesAndre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[AB's Manuscripts] Haïti
ExhibitionSérie de conférences en Haïti
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