The Posthuman Dada Guide by Andrei Codrescu
Tzara and Lenin Play Chess (Public Square)

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Synopsis

"This is a guide for instructing posthumans in living a Dada life. It is not advisable, nor was it ever, to lead a Dada life."--The Posthuman Dada Guide

The Posthuman Dada Guide is an impractical handbook for practical living in our posthuman world--all by way of examining the imagined 1916 chess game between Tristan Tzara, the daddy of Dada, and V. I. Lenin, the daddy of communism. This epic game at Zurich's Café de la Terrasse--a battle between radical visions of art and ideological revolution--lasted for a century and may still be going on, although communism appears dead and Dada stronger than ever. As the poet faces the future mass murderer over the chessboard, neither realizes that they are playing for the world. Taking the match as metaphor for two poles of twentieth- and twenty-first-century thought, politics, and life, Andrei Codrescu has created his own brilliantly Dadaesque guide to Dada--and to what it can teach us about surviving our ultraconnected present and future. Here dadaists Duchamp, Ball, and von Freytag-Loringhoven and communists Trotsky, Radek, and Zinoviev appear live in company with later incarnations, including William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gilles Deleuze, and Newt Gingrich. The Posthuman Dada Guide is arranged alphabetically for quick reference and (some) nostalgia for order, with entries such as "eros (women)," "internet(s)," and "war." Throughout, it is written in the belief "that posthumans lining the road to the future (which looks as if it exists, after all, even though Dada is against it) need the solace offered by the primal raw energy of Dada and its inhuman sources."

 

About Andrei Codrescu

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A poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, ANDREI CODRESCU is the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University and the editor of the literary journal Exquisite Corpse.
 
Published February 2, 2009 by Princeton University Press. 249 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Posthuman Dada Guide

The Guardian

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The Posthuman Dada Guide : Tzara & Lenin Play Chess by Andrei Codrescu Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop English literat...

Apr 11 2009 | Read Full Review of The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tza...

Publishers Weekly

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This Zagat-sized handbook, a Dadaist chop suey showcasing the astonishing intellectual range of English professor and NPR commentator Codrescu (New Orleans, Mon Amour), is arranged alphabetically and topically, which permits one to dip in or to read it all.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Andrei Codrescu's outstandingly modulated essay, The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara & Lenin Play Chess, courts this state as it polkas around three imaginative conjectures: First, what if Tristan Tzara (1896–1963), a Romanian Jew who some believed was the founder of the Dada movement, played chess o...

May 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tza...

Chamber Four

Today’s trends startle him, and it’s clear that in the chess match between Tzara and Lenin, Codrescu wants to see Lenin’s king mated: “It is the thesis of this book that posthumans lining the road to the future (which looks as if it exists, after all, even though Dada is against it) need the sol...

Nov 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tza...

Project MUSE

When I was in high school, my art gang and I swore by Hans Richter's Dada: Art & Anti-Art.

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Project MUSE

In fact, it does not offer any guidance at all (except to a number of defunct Continental cafés), but entertainingly tells its readers about the nature of dada, its history, and its major personalities, and offers a good deal of tangential speculation about the internet, virtual reality and the f...

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Project MUSE

He makes a seamless epic collage out of first-hand accounts, traceable as Tristan Tzara's "Chronique zurichoise," Richard Huelsenbeck's Memoirs of a Dada Drummer, Hugo Ball's Flight out of Time, and The Dada Painters and Poets edited by Robert Motherwell.

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