On this date in 1896, French physician, essayist and poet Andrι Breton was born. He became a doctor before World War I, and worked in psychiatric wards during that conflict. After the war, he settled in Paris, where he became a founder and outspoken leader of the Surrealist movement. Surrealism relies heavily on remembering and interpreting dreams, interwoven with psychiatrist Sigmund Freud's theory of automatic writing. Freud posed that people can write involuntarily when their attention is drawn elsewhere, usually during hypnosis or while still alert. Automatic writing became more accepted during the early to mid-20th century, as mental health experts developed a greater understanding of how the personality, conscious and unconscious, works. Brιton wrote three surrealistic treatises and was a long-time editor of "Litιrature," a surrealist magazine that he helped found. He died in 1966.
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