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list price: $37.95 USD
edition:Hardcover
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published: Oct 2011
ISBN:9780262016223
publisher: The MIT Press

Body Sweats

The Uncensored Writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

by Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven, edited by Irene Gammel & Suzanne Zelazo

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poetry, artists' books
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $37.95 USD
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Oct 2011
ISBN:9780262016223
publisher: The MIT Press
Description

The first major collection of poetry written in English by the flabbergasting and flamboyant Baroness Elsa, “the first American Dada.”

As a neurasthenic, kleptomaniac, man-chasing proto-punk poet and artist, the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven left in her wake a ripple that is becoming a rip—one hundred years after she exploded onto the New York art scene. As an agent provocateur within New York's modernist revolution, “the first American Dada” not only dressed and behaved with purposeful outrageousness, but she set an example that went well beyond the eccentric divas of the twenty-first century, including her conceptual descendant, Lady Gaga.

Her delirious verse flabbergasted New Yorkers as much as her flamboyant persona. As a poet, she was profane and playfully obscene, imagining a farting God, and transforming her contemporary Marcel Duchamp into M'ars (my arse). With its ragged edges and atonal rhythms, her poetry echoes the noise of the metropolis itself. Her love poetry muses graphically on ejaculation, orgasm, and oral sex. When she tired of existing words, she created new ones: “phalluspistol,” “spinsterlollipop,” “kissambushed.” The Baroness's rebellious, highly sexed howls prefigured the Beats; her intensity and psychological complexity anticipates the poetic utterances of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

Published more than a century after her arrival in New York, Body Sweats is the first major collection of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's poems in English. The Baroness's biographer Irene Gammel and coeditor Suzanne Zelazo have assembled 150 poems, most of them never before published. Many of the poems are themselves art objects, decorated in red and green ink, adorned with sketches and diagrams, presented with the same visceral immediacy they had when they were composed.

About the Authors

Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven

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Irene Gammel teaches communication and culture and directs the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre at Ryerson University.
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Suzanne Zelazo is a poet, editor, and educator. She has a PhD in English with a speciality in modernist poetry. Suzanne is the author of the poetry collection Parlance (Coach House) and is the co-editor of Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (MIT Press) as well as Crystal Flowers: Poems and a Libretto by Florine Stettheimer (Book*hug). She currently lives in Toronto. 

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