ABSTRACT

This article explores connections between Dadaism and William Carlos Williams. Williams’s attitude toward Dadaism was ambivalent. However, he made ample use of the radical strategies of Dadaism to compose four of his more experimental and less studied texts, namely: Kora in Hell (1920), Spring and All (1923), The Great American Novel (1923), and the purely Dadaist A Novelette (1932). Dadaism provided Williams with the techniques (illogicality, collage, parody, contradiction, playfulness, confrontation, automatic writing, chaos) and the conceptual scaffolding he needed to pursue his self-appointed—and intrinsically Dadaist—mission to both wipe out and revive American literature.

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