Alexandrian was born to a French mother and Armenian father, Vartan Alexandrian, a stomatologist under the service of Faisal I. At the age of six, he was sent to Paris to stay with her maternal grandmother.
Alexandrian's initiation to Dada and surrealism came in the summer of 1943 when, aged 16, he met Raoul Hausmann who was staying in Peyrat-le-Château near Limoges as a refugee. From 1947, he served as the last secretary of André Breton and became an essential figure of the surrealist current.
Alexandrian was an advocate of the philosophy Nietzsche advanced in The Gay Science (Die fröhliche Wissenschaft). He headed the journal Supérieur Inconnu (a title provided by Breton), which exalts four values shared by the surrealists and Alexandrian: dreams, love, knowledge, and revolution. Catherine Millet is one notable contributor to the magazine.
Alexandrian has more than 40 books to his credit. His best known works are:
- André Breton par lui-même, 1971 (André Breton in His Own Words);
- Hans Bellmer, 1971;
- Les Libérateurs de l'amour, 1977 (The Liberators of Love);
- Surrealist Art, 1985 (Thames & Hudson World of Art);
- Max Ernst, 1986;
- and Histoire de la littérature érotique, 1989 (The History of Erotic Literature).
- Gallimard (1974). Dans le Surréalisme et le rêve, p. 246-9. Paris. The author first discusses the dream of Breton and then proposes an analysis.
Texts and Prefaces
Préfaces in Musculatures of Nathalie Gassel
- Obituary in The Independent by Marcus Williamson
- Obituary in Le Monde by Claire Paulhan
- rêve 1