Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
Edited by Irene Gammel and Suzanne Zelazo (MIT Press)
This is a long, awaited, much-needed collection of the exuberant and enthralling poetry of the great American Dada poet "Baroness" Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. The book is a sumptuous collection of poems and images, as much art catalog and text collection. And Irene Gammel tells me there are still significant uncollected poems, which I hope can be brought together in a web archive.
On first quick look at the book I was startled to see a provocative 1915 picture of Clause McKay with the Baroness, both in costume, living evidence for the relation between of dialect and ideolect as I imagined it in "Poetics of the Americas."
Here are two of the blurbs for the book:
Body Sweats remaps the frontiers of modernism. It allows us to see, for the first time, just how radical Freytag-Loringhoven was: her linguistic fearlessness puts her in the same league as Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, and Abraham Lincoln-Gillespie. These poems also offer a challenge to contemporary writers; a century on, her work is still as extreme as anything being published today."
—Craig Dworkin, Professor of English, University of Utah
“The Baroness’s legendary but barely glimpsed ‘omnipulsespun’ oeuvre takes its place here as the most vital recovery of a neglected modernist since Mina Loy. Her panoramic ‘arabesque grotesque’ of sex poems, city poems, nature poems, sound poems, and an astonishingly rich visual portfolio is given an ingenious arrangement by the scrupulous editors, along with a poignant and sensible introduction. The Dada queen prankster comes to life at long last in all her ‘stuttering incandescence.’”
—Jed Rasula, Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor of English, University of Georgia, author of Modernism and Poetic Inspiration: The Shadow Mouth
Some web readings (with thanks to Al Filreis, Douglas Messerli, Jacket2):
"A Dozen Cocktails Please"; more poems at Green Integer Review; extensioins: Daughter of Dada page, fashion by the Baronness; Williams on the Baronness, PIP page, Fowler bio, 3 poems; Jacket2 feature