The Dada Market: An Anthology of Poetry

The Dada Market: An Anthology of Poetry

The Dada Market: An Anthology of Poetry

The Dada Market: An Anthology of Poetry

Synopsis

Willard Bohn's collection of Dada poetry is the most comprehensive ever compiled. Forty-two poets writing in seven different languages (French, German, English, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and Dutch) are presented in a bilingual format, where appropriate, with the original text and its English translation on facing pages. The collection, which opens with a critical and historical introduction, spans the years from 1914 to 1923 and includes such poets as Walter Conrad Arensberg, André Breton, Malcolm Cowley, Max Ernst, Mina Loy, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters, and Tristan Tzara. Twelve works by ten Dada visual artists (six of whom are also represented by their poetry) illustrate the book.

Dada's overriding concern was liberty- social, moral, artistic, and intellectual. While rebelling against bourgeois values and all forms of authority, the Dadaists venerated scandalous behavior, spontaneity, and a general joie de vivre. Their adherents questioned the basic postulates of rationalism and humanism as few had done before. In trying to strip artistic expression down to its bare essentials, these writers often created works that were experiments in sound or typography.

Excerpt

Pierre Albert-Birot (1885-1967) was the editor of a journal entitled SIC
(Sons, Idées, Couleurs)
, which appeared in Paris from 1916 to 1919. A
friend and disciple of Guillaume Apollinaire, whose landmark play Les
Mamelles de Tirésias
he produced single-handedly, Birot was a man of
many talents. An active playwright, painter, and set designer, he also
authored quite a few volumes of poetry. Although his poems drew on
many sources, they were faithful to the Dada spirit on numerous
occasions.

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