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Dada 1916 in TheoryPractices of Critical Resistance$
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Dafydd Jones

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380208

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380208.001.0001

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The Rude Product of Luxury: Dada Laughter

The Rude Product of Luxury: Dada Laughter

(p.175) 7 The Rude Product of Luxury: Dada Laughter
Dada 1916 in Theory

Dafydd W. Jones

Liverpool University Press

This closing chapter breaks down the single most audible quality of Dada: its ringing laughter, which functioned as regenerative and greater than laughter in its limited satirical form. The potential of laughter’s obtaining of philosophical meaning has been described as ‘one of the essential forms of the truth concerning the world’, potentially putting thought into contact with the exterior, and its complexity gives rise to its multiplicity of meanings. The reading here draws on Rabelais on laughter, and introduces Diogenes of Sinope as the Dada prototype from antiquity, the manifestation ahead of Huelsenbeck of those ‘quarrelsome figues … capable of reacting in an uncivil way to the spectacle of false living’.

Keywords:   Rabelais, Diogenes of Sinope, risus purus, revolutionary joy, nomadology, cynicism, kynicism

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