Dada Poetry: An Introduction is a stimulating new book on the avant-garde literary movement that had a lasting impact on world culture, art, and literature.
“Rather like the blows and koans of Rinzai Zen and the cunning dreams we all conjure nightly,” says Seaton in the introduction to the book, “the purest manifestations of Dada seek to shake the observer into enlightenment through oblique attacks,saucing the onslaught with wit, political passion, and effervescent bohemianism.”
Having exposed the basics of the Dada movement in German literature, Seaton translates four Dada poets from the German, invoking the “ghost voices” of the old poets like Emmy Hennings, Richard Huelsenbeck, Han Arp, and Hugo Ball. A special chapter is devoted to the art of literary translation, the sweet treason. The author also tests whether the spells of these master remain efficacious for readers in the twenty-first century. Seaton ends the volume with a lament for the loss of the avant-garde.
A mine of riches, the book is a must for students of literature, artists, culture critics, and historians.
From the foreword by Timothy Shipe:
“Translators have paid scant attention to the poetic output of the German-speaking participants in the Dada movement . . . here at last is William Seaton’s anthology of four German Dada poets . . . for the first time, the English-speaking reader will find a generous sampling of German Dada poetry in a single volume.”
ISBN 81-8250-035-4 Hard 2013 pp 128 Rs.395