The Fascination of André Breton for the Arithmosophic Calculation in Arcane 17 (The Number 1713 and Gérard de Nerval)
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 7, Issue 5, September 2019, Pages: 98-104
Received: Aug. 2, 2019; Accepted: Sep. 4, 2019; Published: Sep. 19, 2019
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Author
Spomenka Delibasic, Department of French Language and Literature, Faculty of Philology, University of Montenegro, Niksic, Montenegro
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Abstract
In surrealist researches and writings, recourse to the occult and the hermetic tradition goes hand in hand with the valorization of a set of esoteric knowledge which gathers at the same time mysticism, alchemy, arithmosophy and fictions which make an important place for mystery and the supernatural. Breton devoted himself from his first works to esoteric orientation and hermetism, consubstantially united with his poetry. We evoke the Breton text –Arcane 17, which has as its theme the arithmosophic calculation on its date of birth and that of Gerard de Nerval and, since no methodology can exhaust the meaning of this text, extremely rich in intertextual references, in images symbolic, mythical, in metalogisms, we propose to approach a methodologically open approach that gives absolute priority to the text. The presence of occultism and arithmosophy in Arcane 17, as indeed in all the other surrealist texts dealing with these domains, refers in fact to their poetic aspects. A set of Breton texts (Arcane 17, Le Surréalisme et la peinture, Perspective cavalière, Les Entretiens) invite us to examine how this author treats esoteric thought as the possibility of a deployment of reverie and poetic inspiration. This corpus attests, certainly, Breton’s concern for the deep links between numbers, letters and events as signs to be deciphered in his spiritual approach and remains an inspiration to the most innovative sensibilities of modernity. Breton was fascinated by the number 1713 (his initials A. B. constitue, by a precise graphical game, an equivalent by transforming the figures; in the text "Du poème-objet", Breton reflects at length on the historical and scientific events related to this year) and refers explicitly several times to Pythagoreanism and Gérard de Nerval. The aim of this article is to show that the persistent vitality of an esoteric conception on the world and on the human understanding that surrealism has always proposed itself contemplates the possible actuality of some aspects of Breton’s thought, such as evidenced by a recent study by Patrick Lepetit The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism: Origins, Magic, and Secrets Societies (2014).
Keywords
André Breton, Esotericism, Arithmosophy, Arcane 17, Gérard de Nerval, 1713
To cite this article
Spomenka Delibasic, The Fascination of André Breton for the Arithmosophic Calculation in Arcane 17 (The Number 1713 and Gérard de Nerval), International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 7, No. 5, 2019, pp. 98-104. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20190705.12
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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