By Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Irene Gammel, Suzanne Zelazo
As a neurasthenic, kleptomaniac, man-chasing proto-punk poet and artist, the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven left in her wake a ripple that's turning into a rip--one hundred years after she exploded onto the hot York paintings scene. As an agent provocateur inside New York's modernist revolution, "the first American Dada" not just dressed and behaved with practical outrageousness, yet she set an instance that went well past the eccentric divas of the twenty-first century, together with her conceptual descendant, girl Gaga. Her delirious verse flabbergasted New Yorkers up to her flamboyant personality.
As a poet, she used to be profane and playfully obscene, imagining a farting God, and reworking her modern Marcel Duchamp into M'ars (my arse). With its ragged edges and atonal rhythms, her poetry echoes the noise of the city itself. Her love poetry muses graphically on ejaculation, orgasm, and oral intercourse. whilst she bored with current phrases, she created new ones: "phalluspistol," "spinsterlollipop," "kissambushed." The Baroness's rebellious, hugely sexed howls prefigured the Beats; her depth and mental complexity anticipates the poetic utterances of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath.
Published greater than a century after her arrival in ny, Body Sweats is the 1st significant number of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's poems in English. The Baroness's biographer Irene Gammel and coeditor Suzanne Zelazo have assembled a hundred and fifty poems, so much of them by no means prior to released. a number of the poems are themselves paintings gadgets, embellished in pink and eco-friendly ink, embellished with sketches and diagrams, provided with an identical visceral immediacy they'd once they have been composed.
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Extra resources for Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
Ironically, it was in Berlin that the Baroness, supported by several American women including Djuna Barnes, Berenice Abbott, Sarah Freedman, and Peggy Guggenheim, embraced her “American” identity, reading American classics, composing poetry in, as well as translating German poetry into, American English. “I do not any more ‘hate’ America! I kneel before it—I love it—it is right. It bears future! It is my country! ”48 It was in Berlin that she proceeded to tell the story of her own development as a woman, artist, and poet in letters and in her autobiography, as well as in poetry, addressing primarily an American audience.
Embracing a DIY mentality, never afraid to think for herself, the Baroness encourages audiences to do so as well. We present the poems as they were composed, meant, in keeping with the Baroness’s careerlong attempts at a dissolution of the boundary between artist and audience, to be collaborations with their readers, whose own 36 introduction: the first american dada H ow to Edit Da da Poetry: A N ote on the Text 37 complexities and differences will find multiple and varied points of entry into the poems.
The Baroness was visiting Claude McKay, the Jamaican American poet and executive coeditor (with Mike Gold) of the magazine. The visit is captured in an editorial by Gold: “Ah, the Baroness Else Von Freytag-Loringhoven, with huge rings on her ten fingers, and her dog Sophie in her lap, is reciting her Dada poetry to Claude McKay in another room. The walls shake, the ceiling rocks, life is real and life is earnest! ”24 In the background is the street noise of “heavy motor trucks thunder[ing] by, horses jingl[ing] their harness .