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Signed manuscript, dated 29 July 1957, published in Le surréalisme, même no. 3.

Published in Le surréalisme, même (no. 3, autumn 1957), ‘Langue des pierres’ (‘The Language of Stones’) develops the idea of a ‘visionary mineralogy’ that might act on the mind like a drug. In fact, and not unlike Roger Caillois in this view, Breton sees precious stones as signs scattered across the world’s surface, signs whose beauty represents, for the person finding them, something akin to the revelation of a shattered message, one that perhaps might have no meaning if not for the finder’s presence.  What is outlined in the found object is a ‘paradise’: agates ‘leap into view’ and hail the poet in a violent manner, one that could bear comparison only with the impact of certain works of art. [Atelier André Breton website, 2005]

Signed, handwritten manuscript, Paris, 29 July 1957.
- 4 in-4° manuscript pages, with page numbers, title, date and signature by André Breton, with numerous deletions and corrections, relating to the search for the ‘language’ of stones.
‘The ancient miner, known as the “seeker of treasures” met by Henri d'Ofterdingen, who recalls the riches revealed to him by the Northern mountains, declares that he sometimes thought he was in an enchanted garden. I have had occasion to experience the same sensation on a beach on the Gaspé Peninsula where the sea would toss out – and often take back before one could reach them – transparent stones with multicoloured layers that gleamed from afar like so many little lanterns […].

Lotus de Païni claimed that historically the phase of Intuition was opened to humanity from the moment “when the soul penetrates right to the very heart of the stone sand from it definitively acquires the powers of the Self. The stone,” she goes on, “conferred on the human race the sovereign privilege of pain and dignity”.’ [Auction catalogue, 2003]


Translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski


André Breton, « Langue des Pierres », Le Surréalisme, même p. 62 - 69, n° 3, automne 1957, avec 4 ill. photogr. dont une en couleur.

André Breton (Édition publiée sous la direction d'Étienne-Alain Hubert avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier et Marie-Claire Dumas), « Langue des Pierres », Le Surréalisme, même,Œuvres complètes, tome IV, Écrits sur l'art et autres textes, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, pages 958 à 965.


Creation date29-juil.-57
Bibliographical material

- ‘Langue des Pierres’, Le Surréalisme, même p. 62 - 69, no. 3, autumn 1957, with 4 photographic illustrations, one in colour.

- André Breton, ‘Langue des pierres’, Œuvres complètes, volume IV, Écrits sur l'art et autres textes (edition established by Marguerite Bonnet and edited by Étienne-Alain Hubert with contributions from Philippe Bernier and Marie-Claire Dumas), Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, pp. 958-65.

Date of publication 1957

Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, Paris : BRT 118

Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2446
CategoriesAndre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[AB's Manuscripts] Miscellaneous Manuscripts, [Archives] Le surréalisme, même
ExhibitionAndré Breton, The House Of Glass
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See also

3 Works

La grande tortue et le cacique

André Breton

Deux pierres trouvées par André Breton à Saint-Cirq-Lapopie vers 1957, évoquant une figure humaines et une figure animale.
Une image, une notice descriptive, une bibliographie, des expositions, un musée.

[Exhibitions] 1991, boîte archives bleue, Beaubourg, [Archives] Le surréalisme, même


Langue au pied blessé

Pierre Molinier


Dessin à l'encre de Chine de Pierre Molinier, titré « Langue au pied blessé » et adressé à André Breton en 1957 pour la revue Le Surréalisme, même.

Une image, une notice descriptive.

[Archives] Le surréalisme, même


For 'Language of the Stones'

Jean Mohr


Photographs intended to illustrate André Breton's text ‘Langue des pierres’ [‘Language of the Stones’] published in Surréalisme, même, No.3, in Autumn 1957.

Three images, a descriptive note, a manuscript and an associated journal.

[Archives] Le surréalisme, même