Dada as Text, Thought and Theory

Stephen Forcer


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Research Monographs in French Studies 39

Legenda: Oxford, 2015  
ISBN: 978-1-907975-83-7


The Dada movement, revered as perhaps the purest form of cultural subversion and provocation in 20th-century Europe, has been a victim of the readiness with which cultural historians have swallowed its own propaganda. Based on extensive close analysis of French-language Dada work in its original form, and offering English translations throughout, this major reappraisal looks at a broad range of media and topics – including poetry, film, philosophy, and quantum physics – in order to get beyond Dada’s typecasting as avant-garde anti-hero. Work by women writers and other marginalized figures combines with that of canonical Dadaists to present Dada in a radically new set of guises: poetic and textually subtle; intellectually and philosophically meaningful; peaceable and quasi-Buddhist; and, perhaps most uncomfortably of all, conformist and reactionary.

Stephen Forcer is Lecturer in French at the University of Birmingham.


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