Influence Of The Welsh On The History Of Dada

Early 1916

Breton meets Jacques Vache in Nantes where Vache is recovering from
wounds. To evince solidarity Breton wears flannel pyjamas.


Picabia shows his painted thighs at the New York Modern Gallery.
Duchamp writes in his diary: “legs in themselves are not modern. Napo-
leon had two.” First issue of New Flannel Review.

12 Feb

Futurist poems arrive from Tony Curtis and are returned as unsuitable.

1 March

Hugo Ball bounces into the newly formed Zurich Cabaret Voltaire
wearing a leek. A Swiss misunderstanding has the audience in kilts.

4 March

Welsh soiree at Cabaret Voltaire. Extracts from works by ap Gwilym, ab
Edmwnd, Aneurin, Taliesin and Broadribb are read out.

10 March

Arp arrives in Zurich from Lampeter. His luggage misses connection and
is sent in error to a Mrs Mills, bar mitzvah pianist and roof repair, Brussels.
Arp borrows silk nightwear from Marinetti who, being Italian, has
a supply.

30 June

Second issue of New Flannel Review has pages sewn together along four
sides. Editor explains that in evolving technologies such things are
inevitable. Application for government incentive funding fails.


A nervous condition, brought on by alcohol and opium, forces Picabia
to leave Zurich for Pontneddfechan. Cricket match wearing flannels is
played in a downpour. Local poets are victorious but Picabia acclaimed
man of the match.

Winter 1923

First dada film “Le Retour de la Pyjama” starring Clark Gable, Tony Curtis
and Peter Finch. Duchamp abandons his translations of early Welsh
gnomic poems on the grounds that they are not funny enough. Schwitters
begins his first Merzbau on a cliff top at Aberystwyth.

26 Dec 1924

By official edict Andre Breton has the word “flannel” removed from the
National Dictionary as “anglophile and insulting to France”. Caradoc
Evans loses mss. for his novel My Night Attire on underground. Welsh
Academy opens new division for short story writers not included in The
Green Bridge
. Surrealism is born.



Peter Finch




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