Born in Alsace in 1887, Arp was bilingual from childhood; this volume is based on a French anthology, "Jours Effueuille", which was published in 1965 and was edited by Marcel Jean, with Arp's collaboration. Constant references have been made to Arp's original German writings in the preparation of this edition and exhaustive bibliographical notes have been added. There is also a memoir by the artist's widow, an introduction by Marcel Jean and numerous examples of Arp's book illustrations.
Arp emerges from this volume as a poet of highly individual and varied imaginitive power. These writings are imbued with simplicity, directness an organic vitality and above all humour - the essence of dadaism. Brilliantly translated by Joachim Neugroschel, the book represents the whole range of Arp's writing - from nonsense poems and amusing narratives to penetrating essays on art and artists. It offers us an unusually detailed and accurate documentary, not only of Arp's own life, but of the artistic intelligence and history of the modern movement as well.
First published in Britain in 1974, this new edition once again makes available an important literary classic of modernism. The significance of surrealism over the last half-century is now universally recognised as one of the most important influences in expanded creativeness and use of the imagination - in spite of the "dumbing-down" and philistinism which has invaded our culture at the turn of the new millennium.