Tristan Tzara

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A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
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Tristan Tzara (Samuel Rosenstock/Rosenstein) (16 April 189625 December 1963) was a French-Romanian poet and essayist. He was one of the founders of the Dada movement, known best for his manifestos. He was a collaborater with Marcel Janco.


  • We [Dadaists] are often told that we are incoherent, but into this word people try to put an insult that it is rather hard for me to fathom. Everything is incoherent... There is no logic... The acts of life have no beginning and no end. Everything happens in a completely idiotic way. That is why everything is alike. Simplicity is called Dada. Any attempt to conciliate an inexplicable momentary state with logic strikes me as a boring kind of game... Like everything in life, Dada is useless... Perhaps you will understand me better when I tell you that Dada is a virgin microbe that penetrates with the insistence of air into all of the spaces that reason has not been able to fill with words or conventions.
    • As quoted in The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology (1981) edited by Robert Motherwell, p.250 - 251
  • If I shout:
    Ideal, Ideal, Ideal
    Knowledge, Knowledge, Knowledge,
    Boomboom, Boomboom, Boomboom
    I have recorded fairly accurately Progress, Law, Morals, and all the other magnificent qualities that various very intelligent people have discussed in so many books.
    • As quoted in The Dada Almanac: Berlin 1920 (1983) edited by Richard Huelsenbeck, translated by Malcolm Green, p.127


  • [Dada is the] absolute and unquestionable faith in every god that is the immediate product of spontaneity.

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