Richard Huelsenbeck  

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Richard Huelsenbeck (April 23, 1892 - April 20, 1974) was a poet, writer and drummer born in Frankenau, Hesse-Nassau.

Carl Wilhelm Richard Hülsenbeck was a medical student on the eve of World War I. He was invalided out of the army and emigrated to Zürich, Switzerland in February 1916, where he fell in with the Cabaret Voltaire. In January 1917, he moved to Berlin, taking with him the ideas and techniques which helped him found the Berlin Dada group. 'To make literature with a gun in my hand had for a time been my dream,'(1) he wrote in 1920. His ideas fitted in with left-wing politics current at time in Berlin. However, idealistic Huelsenbeck and his companions were their challenge 'Dada is German Bolshevism' had unfortunate repercussions later, when the National Socialists denounced all aspects of modern art as Kunstbolschewismus. Later in life, he moved to New York City, where he practiced Jungian psychoanalysis under the name Charles R. Hulbeck. In 1970 he returned to the Ticino region of Switzerland. He died 1974 in Muralto, Switzerland.

Huelsenbeck was the editor of the Dada Almanach, and wrote Dada Sieght, En Avant Dada and other Dadaist works.

Huelsenbeck's autobiography Memoirs of a Dada Drummer gives detailed accounts of his interactions with many key figures of the movement.

Of his music, Hugo Ball wrote, "Huelsenbeck has arrived. He pleads for an intensification of rhythm (Negro rhythm). He would best love to drum literature & to perdition."

Until the end of his life, Huelsenbeck insisted, "Dada is still existing," although the movement's other founders might not have agreed.


An English language interview with Richard Huelsenbeck recorded in 1959 can be heard on the audio CD Voices of Dada together with a 1967 reading of a poem from his 1916 verse collection Phantastiche Gebete. A non-author performance of L'amiral cherche une maison a louer, the simultaneous Dada poem written by Huelsenbeck with Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco, can be heard on the audio CD Futurism and Dada Reviewed.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Richard Huelsenbeck" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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