Else von Freytag-Loringhoven

October 24, 2006

 else-von-freytag-loringhoven.jpg
(1874-1927)

Leading Dadaist figure
Born on Polish-German border under a different, less regal name, the abused child of a stonemason
Arrived in the US. in 1909 after having lived a life filled with name changes, job changes, husbands, and lovers
Assumed her title of baroness through marriage to a man who soon left her
Lived in Greenwhich Village, New York working menial jobs, modeling for artists, and committing petty crimes
Arrived at parties wearing a birdcage or a bustle with a taillights
Produced art objects out of garbage
Improvised poems out of the words and images that chanced her way
Returned to Europe and became involved during this time in a bisexual affair with novelist Djuna Barnes, and she idolized Barnes for the remainder of her lifetime
Died in Paris when someone (it is suggested that it was a previous lover) snuck into her room and turned on the gas
Referred to in Pound’s Cantos as a woman living by

“the principle of non-acquiescence”

Mary Anne Caws describes her as

“the author of texts as bizarre as her outfits”

Quotations:

City stir- -wind on eardrum- – / dancewind : herbstained – – / flowerstained- -silken- -rustling- – / tripping- -swishing- -frolicking- – / courtesing- -careening- -brushing- – / flowing- -lying down- -bending- – / teasing- -kissing : treearms- -grass- – / limbs- -lips. / City stir on eardrum- -. / In night lonely / peers- -: / moon- -riding ! / pale- -with beauty aghast- – / too exalted to share ! / in space blue- -rides she away from mine chest- – / illumined strangely- – / appalling sister !
Herbstained- -flowerstained- – / shellscented- -seafaring- – / foresthunting- -junglewise- – / desert gazing- – / rides heart from chest- – / lashing with beauty- – / afleet- – / across chimney- – / tinfoil river- – / to meet- – / another’s dark heart- –
Bless mine feet !

-Appalling Heart (in whole)

Kaleidoscopic text suggests a scene both urban and natural, and an interior life marked by psychic mobility

It is- -is it- – ? / heart white sheet ! / kiss it / flame beat ! / in chest midst / print teeth / bite- –  – –   – –  / this green / ponderous night.

-Is It? (in whole)

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