The technologies of recuperation: The failures of Dada poetry

Stephens, Elizabeth (1997) The technologies of recuperation: The failures of Dada poetry. Southerly, 57 1: 79-90.

Author Stephens, Elizabeth
Title The technologies of recuperation: The failures of Dada poetry
Journal name Southerly
ISSN 0038-3732
Publication date 1997
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 57
Issue 1
Start page 79
End page 90
Total pages 12
Place of publication Sydney, Australia
Publisher English Association
Language eng
Abstract The introduction to Richard Huelsenbeck's Memoirs of a Dada Drummer (1974) begins with a rather sardonic account of Huelsenbeck's 1970 U.S. lecture tour, during which the once notorious "dada drummer" charmed his audience with ironic recollections of the Cabaret Voltaire performances: "The audience responded with delight when he described how he had chanted his early African' poems to the accompaniment of a tom-tom, shouting at the end of each poem 'Umba, umba.' 'I was very good at "Umba, umba" in those days,' he said, and his listeners roared with laughter" (p.xvii). Huelsenbeck's memoirs are, from the outset, framed by an acquired respectability, and dada has come to be framed in the same way. Criticism of dada reminds us, constantly, that where once dada railed against the bourgeois institutions of museums, the academy and literary tradition, it now circulates passively within them. For the contemporary reader, knowledge of dada's assimilation thereby precedes readings of its texts, and the movement as a whole has become the exemplary reference point for discussions of the technologies of recuperation.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for the History of European Discourses Publications
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Created: Thu, 10 Mar 2011, 10:19:42 EST by Dr Elizabeth Stephens on behalf of Centre for History of European Discourses