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On the Outskirts of Modernity: Tristan Tzara and Dada in Romania

On the Outskirts of Modernity: Tristan Tzara and Dada in Romania Marius Hentea Our roots our lit cigarette butts stuck everywhere small mushrooms in the moist brain. Tristan Tzara, `Moi touche-moi touche-moi seulement'1 When it came to origins, Tristan Tzara (1896­1963) seemed to dismiss the subject outright. If he did not emerge from the womb with monocle and Underwood at the ready, Tzara nonetheless cultivated such a mysterious aura about his background that his son imagined him to be `an extreme case of self-making', like `a comet having popped up from nowhere'.2 The first book on Tzara, written by René Lacôte for the Poètes d'aujourd'hui series, begins in Zurich during 1916, as if the first twenty years of Tzara's life never transpired.3 A half-century later, François Buot opens his biography of Tzara by professing difficulty in finding any trace of its young subject.4 A new interest in the Romanian context of Dada has been sparked by Tom Sandqvist's Dada East (2006), but more needs to be done.5 When Tzara's Romanian-language poems were collected in the early 1930s, he objected to the title Poèmes avant Dada because it gave the impression of `rupture' whereas, in his eyes, `there had been continuity [. . . ] a latent necessity'.6 That the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

On the Outskirts of Modernity: Tristan Tzara and Dada in Romania

Modernist Cultures , Volume 8 (2): 215 – Oct 1, 2013

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2013
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2013.0062
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Marius Hentea Our roots our lit cigarette butts stuck everywhere small mushrooms in the moist brain. Tristan Tzara, `Moi touche-moi touche-moi seulement'1 When it came to origins, Tristan Tzara (1896­1963) seemed to dismiss the subject outright. If he did not emerge from the womb with monocle and Underwood at the ready, Tzara nonetheless cultivated such a mysterious aura about his background that his son imagined him to be `an extreme case of self-making', like `a comet having popped up from nowhere'.2 The first book on Tzara, written by René Lacôte for the Poètes d'aujourd'hui series, begins in Zurich during 1916, as if the first twenty years of Tzara's life never transpired.3 A half-century later, François Buot opens his biography of Tzara by professing difficulty in finding any trace of its young subject.4 A new interest in the Romanian context of Dada has been sparked by Tom Sandqvist's Dada East (2006), but more needs to be done.5 When Tzara's Romanian-language poems were collected in the early 1930s, he objected to the title Poèmes avant Dada because it gave the impression of `rupture' whereas, in his eyes, `there had been continuity [. . . ] a latent necessity'.6 That the

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2013

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