Dafydd Jones (ed.), Dada Culture. Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde 2006.


  • Per Bäckström Department of Culture and Literature, University of Tromsø




Avant-Garde, Dafydd Jones, Dada Culture. Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde


The Rodopi series Avant-Garde Critical Studies not only publishes books on neo-avant-garde but also studies of diverse aspects of the avant-garde in general. This new volume (no. 18), for example, is entirely dedicated to one of the most far-reaching avant-gardes in history, namely Dada. Although one cannot on the whole claim that a new book on Dada fills a gap, given that an enormous amount of research has been published over the years, nevertheless every contribution
presenting a new and clear view on the subject is welcome. In this book the focus is on the contemporary (theoretical) engagement with Dada, in an effort to show the actuality of the movement itself. Given the subtitle "Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde", however, it becomes relevant to note the problem inherent in such a formulation: a book on Dada contains critical texts on one avant-garde, but not on the avant-garde, a fact that is all the more conspicuous since David Cunningham points out in the concluding article that the expression "the avantgarde" is a post-war phenomenon (p. 272). However, the two excellent final articles point in many ways far beyond Dada, towards a rewritten theory of the
avant-garde (which makes these articles alone worth the price of this volume); the preceding comment is therefore focused on the overall ambition of the volume, rather than the individual articles in themselves.

Author Biography

Per Bäckström, Department of Culture and Literature, University of Tromsø

Per Bäckström is an associate professor at the Department of Culture and Literature, University of Tromsø, and chair of the membership commission of the European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies (EAM). He has published studies of the Swedish poet Bruno K. Öijer, the grotesque in the oeuvre of Henri Michaux and experimental poetry. He has published several articles on Mikhail Bakhtin, intermediality, avant-garde and neo-avant-garde. At the moment Per Bäckström is studying the Nordic neo-avant-garde and the crossaesthetic art of Öyvind Fahlström.




How to Cite

Bäckström, Per. 2007. “ 2006”. Nordlit, no. 21 (May):326-31. https://doi.org/10.7557/13.1792.

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