Surrealist Manifesto: 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.


Salvador Dalí
Don Quixote

Within the bounds in which they operate (or are thought to operate), dreams, to all appearances, are continuous and show signs of order. Memory alone arrogates to itself the right to recall excerpts, to ignore transitions, and to represent it to us rather as a series of dreams than the dream itself. By the same token, we possess at any moment only a single distinct configuration of reality, whose coordination is a matter of will. 

I return, once more, to the state of being awake. I am obliged to consider it as a phenomenon due to interference. Not only does the mind display, in this state, a strange tendency towards disorientation (a tale of lapses and errors of all sorts the secret of which is beginning to be revealed) but what is more it seems that when the mind is functioning normally it does no more than respond to suggestions which come to it from the depths of that night to which I commend it.

From The First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924, by André Breton