Tristan Tzara: Approximate Man & Other Writings

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9780814314821: Tristan Tzara: Approximate Man & Other Writings
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Poet-critic Tristan Tzara, brilliant founder of the Dada movement, is just beginning to receive the attention he has long deserved both in France and in English-speaking countries. Very little of his writing has been available in English translation, and much of it has long been out of print in France.

This volume, a major critical anthology of Tzara's work in English, contains a broad selection of his writings representing the many sides of his creative output: the poetic (including his free verse, catalog and collage poems, prose poems, epic), the dramatic, the critical, and the declamatory. It includes the great Dada surrealist poetic epic of 1925-30, "Approximate Man," remarkable for its inner variety and its ambitious theme, and oriented toward the human and the natural as the Dada were oriented toward deliberate artifice and the antihuman. Tzara's essays on poetry and art, invaluable for correcting the still prevalent opinion that Dada was totally negative, also demonstrate the violence of style and impact that carries over into his later meditations on language and dream. Selections are included from early rudimentary Dada plays, from Cloud Handkerchief, the ironic and romantic collage epic based on Hamlet, and from the lyric monologue Flight.

The accompanying introduction examines Tzara's changing styles, concerns, and commitments, as well as the epic poem that is his masterpiece. Notes are provided for the text. Most valuable for the scholar is an account of the more interesting variants taken from the enormous mass of Tzara's manuscripts. Finally, the combination of spontaneity with poetic effort, of definite themes and centers of interest, lend particular scope to the collection, which is at once essay, critical presentation and anthology.

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Book Description:

This volume, a major critical anthology of Tzara's work in English, contains a broad selection of his writings representing the many sides of his creative output.

About the Author:

Mary Ann Caws is associate professor of romance languages at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, the City University of New York. Her previous books include Surrealism and the Literary Imagination (1966), The Poetry of Dada and Surrealism (1970), Andre Breton (1971), and The Inner Theatre of Recent French Poetry (1972).

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Published by Wayne State University Press (1973)
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Published by Wayne State University Press (1973)
ISBN 10: 0814314821 ISBN 13: 9780814314821
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