“As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table.” — Lautreamont (Los Cantos De Maldoror / The Songs of Maldoror)
http://harpers.org/archive/2007/02/0081387 quotes this as Breton’s maxim. he may have plundered it from Lautreamont, n’est-ce pas?
he did say this:
Dictionary: Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.
This is Alice. This is fucked up. I pluck black currant leaves for my godfather’s moonshine cassis. My reward is a small sip of eau-de-vie. my fingers are purple and sweet. the nape of my neck is scorched and sore. my back aches from stooping so low. my body shivers with the heat of all this.
“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”
“As a young child I wanted to be a writer because writers were rich and famous. They lounged around Singapore and Rangoon smoking opium in a yellow pongee silk suit. They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful native boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly caressing a pet gazelle.”
William Burroughs, The Adding Machine: Selected Essays