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Dada and Existentialism : The Authenticity of Ambiguity (Hardcover) (Elizabeth Benjamin)
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Offeringnew critical approaches to Dada as quintessential part of theAvant-Garde, Dada and Existentialism: the Authenticity of Ambiguity reassessesthe movement as a form of (proto-) Existentialist philosophy. Dada isoften dismissed as an anti-art movement with a merely destructive theoreticalimpetus. French Existentialism is often condemned for its perceived quietistimplications. However, closer analysis reveals a preoccupation with philosophyin the former and with art in the latter. Moreover, neither was nonsensical ormeaningless; both reveal a rich individualist ethics aimed at the ameliorationof the individual and society.
The first major comparative study of Dada andExistentialism, this text contributes new perspectives on Dada as movement,historical legacy, and field of study. Analysing Dada works throughExistentialist literature across the themes of choice, alienation,responsibility, freedom and truth, the text posits that Dada and Existentialismboth advocate the creation of a self that aims for authenticity throughambiguity.