‘Toute la littérature, c’est: ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta.’
April 27, 2020 7:33 AM   Subscribe

"I am perhaps the king of failures because I'm certainly the king of something."
Arthur Cravan, born Fabian Avenarius Lloyd, was a Swiss born Dadaist poet-boxer.
He was neither a good poet nor a good boxer, but he was a legendary provocateur.

His aunt was married to Oscar Wilde.
Cravan was the founder, editor and sole contributer to the literary revue Maintenant.
His “André Gide” first appeared in the 2nd edition (translated).
Among his aliases were Robert Miradique, W. Cooper, E. Lajeunesse, Marie Lowitska, and he also painted under the name Edouard Archinard.
The Paris Review calls him the original Troll.
For Cravan, suicide was an act.
He once drew a full house by advertising his sincere intention to end his life before a paying public; he would replace the traditional carafe of water with a bottle of absinthe; “for the benefit of the ladies,” he would wear only a jockstrap and deliver his pre-suicide recit with his balls draped on the table.
In 1918 he married Mina Loy (who needs her own FPP) - Some input from languagehat.
Later in 1918 Cravan set sail alone from Salina Cruz, Mexico never to be seen again.
2002 Cravan vs Cravan is a short documentary - clip and review.
posted by adamvasco (6 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I'm glad to see this back! I spent yesterday all day in an internet rabbithole of inspiration with these links!
posted by Tchad at 8:00 AM on April 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

I like that he spent his whole life being obnoxious and boasting of his tenuous connection to Oscar Wilde. I would say that I absolutely would do the same, but it occurs to me that modern-day Cravan would have risen up from a reality TV show (and that sounds pretty awful to me, so, maybe not).
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:07 AM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

This year is the 100th anniversary of the International Dada Fair, something that hasn't got as much attention as it deserves.
After all *gestures vaguely at world* Dada has won.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:46 AM on April 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

the founder, editor and sole contributer to the literary revue Maintenant

“They told me to get my own blog so I did.”
posted by mhoye at 9:34 AM on April 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

In 1918 he married Mina Loy

Not to be confused with the incomparable Myrna Loy, as I did.
posted by BWA at 9:57 AM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

What's with the glitch? I'd almost thought that we hated outrageous Dadaist provocateurs here?
posted by ovvl at 5:59 PM on April 27, 2020

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