Les Champs Magnétiques was written long before any surrealist manifesto had been published, and is regarded as the birth of surrealism. The book is the first experiment with ‘écriture automatique’, a literary technique borrowed from spiritualism and free association in psychoanalysis. The result is an enchanting and evocative collection of prose and poetry, written in a trance in just one week by two young authors. According to Louis Aragon Breton and Soupault had grown into a “double-headed writer”. Magnetische velden is dedicated to the dandy Jacques Vaché, who committed suicide at early age with an overdose of opium.