The Collection

Home Page > Works > On Kravchenko's book


Press cutting from Combat, dated February 1949, pitting André Breton against Hervé Bazin in response to the Kravchenko Affair.

At the start of 1949, the Kravchenko Affair divides French opinion: tensions mount between the Soviet exile and the French communists, who accuse him of lying, until a trial vindicates he who ‘has chosen freedom’. Reticent to enter the media hype created around the book, Breton’s intervention was a response to the enquiry launched by Combat rather than his own spontaneous gesture. The drafts of his reply, alongside the press cutting, attest to the particular care taken in composing this short text which appears, with the benefit of hindsight, to be particularly clear and considered. [Atelier André Breton website, 2005]

Signed handwritten manuscript, February 1949.
Reply to the enquiry about the Kravchenko Affair.
- 2 pages of in-4° manuscript signed by Breton in black ink; the first page is the text of the first draft of the second page. 

- 1 press cutting from Combat journal of February 1949 titled ‘What they think of the Kravchenko Affair’ that reproduces the handwritten text by Breton: ‘I have not read Kravchenko’s book, one that I immediately disliked on account of its provocative title and, more than this, the circles from which its most active partisans were drawn.’ [Auction catalogue, 2003]

Further on he writes: ‘As long as this ultra-parodic mode of justice is not universally denounced, as long as maximum light has not been shed on the conditions under which this violation of personhood has been perpetuated, the world, stricken to its very core, can only be heading to its demise.’ [André Breton website, 2015, with amendments]


Translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski


- André Breton (Édition de Marguerite Bonnet avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier, Marie-Claire Dumas, Étienne-Alain Hubert et José Pierre), Alentours II, Œuvres complètes, tome III, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 1999, p. 994, et la note, p. 1438.


Creation datefév-49
Bibliographical material

André Breton, ‘Alentours II’, Œuvres complètes, volume III (edition established by Marguerite Bonnet and edited by Étienne-Alain Hubert with contributions from Philippe Bernier, Marie-Claire Dumas and José Pierre), Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 1999, p. 994, notes p. 1438.

Physical descriptionMs et coupure de journal Combat - encre bleue
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2303
Keywords, ,
CategoriesArchives, Archival Documents, Manuscripts, Andre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[Mansucrits d'AB] articles pour Combat, [AB's Manuscripts] Miscellaneous Manuscripts
Permanent link