Search - List of Books by Hugo Ball
"The symbolic view of things is a consequence of long absorption in images. Is sign language the real language of Paradise?" -- Hugo Ball
Hugo Ball (February 22, 1886 — September 14, 1927) was a German author, poet and one of the leading Dada artists.
Total Books: 24
Hugo Ball was born in Pirmasens, Germany and was raised in a Protestant family. He studied sociology and philosophy at the universities of Munich and Heidelberg (1906—1907). In 1910, he moved to Berlin in order to become an actor and collaborated with Max Reinhardt. At the beginning of the First World War he joined the army as a volunteer, But, after the invasion of Belgium, was disillusioned saying: "The war is founded on a glaring mistake, men have been confused with machines". Considered a traitor in his country, he crossed the frontier with his wife and settled in Zürich. Here, Ball continued his interest in anarchism, and in Bakunin in particular; he also worked on book of Bakunin translations, which never got published. Although interested in anarchist philosophy, he nonetheless rejected it for its militant aspects, and viewed it as only a means to his personal goal of enlightenment.
In 1916, Hugo Ball created the Dada Manifesto, making a political statement about his views on the terrible state of society and acknowledging his dislike for philosophies in the past claiming to possess the ultimate Truth. The same year as the Manifesto, in 1916, Ball wrote his poem "Karawane," which is a German poem consisting of nonsensical words. The meaning however resides in its meaninglessness, reflecting the chief principle behind Dadaism. Some of his other best known works include the poem collection 7 schizophrene Sonette, the drama Die Nase des Michelangelo, a memoir of the Zürich period Flight Out of Time: A Dada Diary, and a biography of Hermann Hesse, entitled Hermann Hesse. Sein Leben und sein Werk (1927).
As co-founder of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich, he led the Dada movement in Zürich, and is one of the people credited with naming the movement "Dada", by allegedly choosing the word at random from a dictionary. He was married to Emmy Hennings, another member of Dada.
His involvement with the Dada movement lasted approximately two years. He then worked for a short period as a journalist, for Freie Zeitung in Bern. After returning to Catholicism in July of 1920, Ball retired to the canton of Ticino where he lived a religious and relatively poor life. He died on Sant'Abbondio, Switzerland.
His poem "Gadji beri bimba" was later adapted to the song entitled "I Zimbra" on the 1979 Talking Heads album Fear of Music; he received a writing credit for the song on the track listing.