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Understanding Paris Dada: Translating the Nonsense of Anti-Art
AuthorMikkelsen, Brooke L.
AdvisorMarvick, Louis W.
World Languages and Literatures
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The Dada movement, an art and literature movement started during World War I as a rejection of societal and artistic conventions, is left out of American education despite its widespread influence on the art world and the meaning of “art” itself. Part of this ignorance can be attributed to the relative lack of translation of the Parisian works. Efforts to translate Zurich and Berlin Dada have been recently undertaken, but works from Paris have largely been ignored due to the movement being seen as merely a stepping stone on the way to Surrealism. In this paper, a specific plan of translation tailored to the Parisian Dada poetry is presented and evaluated on poems by Soupault and Éluard. With the enigma of Dada poetry cracked, more translators may approach Dada, leading to more translated poems and thus English-speaking audiences could understand the importance of Paris Dada and its lasting impact on modern art and literature movements.