The fictions of Arthur Cravan

Poetry, boxing and revolution

By Dafydd Jones

The fictions of Arthur Cravan


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3323-6
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: January 2019
  • BIC Category: Dada, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: from c 1900 -, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical, Literary studies: poetry & poets, Surrealism, The arts / Art & design styles: Surrealism & Dada


The legendary poet and boxer Arthur Cravan, a fleeting figure on the periphery of early twentieth-century European avant-gardism, is frequently invoked as proto-Dada and Surrealist exemplar. Yet he remains an insubstantial phenomenon, not seen since 1918, lost through historical interstices, clouded in drifting untruths. This study processes philosophical positions into a practical recovery - from nineteenth-century Nietzsche to twentieth-century Deleuze - with thoughts on subjectivity, metaphor, representation and multiplicity. From fresh readings and new approaches - of Cravan's first published work as a manifesto of simulation; of contributors to his Paris review Maintenant as impostures for the Delaunays; and of the conjuring of Cravan in Picabia's elegiac film Entr'acte - The fictions of Arthur Cravan concludes with the absent poet-boxer's eventual casting off into a Surrealist legacy, and his becoming what metaphor is: a means to represent the world.


1 On the genealogy of Arthur Cravan
2 Enter Colossus
3 To be an American in Paris
4 'All words are lies': Maintenant, April 1912-July 1913
5 'Life has no solution': Maintenant, November 1913-April 1915
6 The vision of a struggling movement: Barcelona 1916
7 'Pure affect': New York 1917
8 Being as being, and nothing more


Dafydd W. Jones lectured in fine art and art history at Cardiff School of Art (1995-2012), and is currently the Editor of the University of Wales Press. He is the author of Dada 1916 in Theory: Practices of Critical Resistance and editor of the research volume Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde.

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