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automatic writing


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A method of composition that tries to dispense with conscious control or mental censorship, transcribing immediately the promptings of the unconscious mind. Some writers in the early days of Surrealism attempted it, notably André Breton and Philippe Soupault in their work Les Champs Magnétiques (1919). W. B. Yeats had earlier conducted similar experiments with Georgie Hyde‐Lees after their marriage in 1917; these séances influenced the mystical system of his prose work A Vision (1925).

Subjects: Literature.


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