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Claiming Dada for the French

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Chapter Summary

The arrival of Dada in Paris – in the person of Tristan Tzara – has been much discussed, and one of the main points concerns the aesthetic influence of Dada on the group associated with the review Littérature, directed by Breton, Aragon and Soupault. But as Aragon’s rewriting of the history of Dada in Paris in his “Draft for a History of Contemporary Literature” shows, the French avant-garde in fact soon tried to reinterpret Dada in order to claim it for the French by insisting on the peripheral position of Tzara in the Dada movement. What is at stake in the reception of Dada is the negotiation of the central cultural position of Paris, as is evident not only in some very negative articles on Tzara by institutions of the cultural establishment such as the NRF, but also in some texts written by important figures of the avant-garde itself, such as Aragon, Picabia and Cocteau.

10.1163/9789401210379_009
/content/books/b9789401210379s009
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