Tristan Tzara
Year, Birthplace 1896, Romania
Year, Place of death 1963, France
Samuel Rosenstock was from a wealthy Romanian family and, from adolescence, had been surrounded by French culture. In 1915, he enrolled at the University of Zurich and adopted the pseudonym of Tristan Tzara. With Marcel Janco, Hugo Ball, Hans Arp and Sophie Taeuber, he created the Cabaret Voltaire in early 1916. The club became the headquarters of the Dada movement, which aimed to destroy traditional values. He met Francis Picabia, Paul Éluard and Breton, who were interested in the ‘raw state’ of Tzara’s poetry and the Dadaist Manifesto of 1918. In 1920, Tzara took up their invitation to move to Paris. The rivalry between Breton and Tzara intensified over the following years and they finally fell out completely in 1923. After reconciliation in 1929 Tzara – in a new break with the surrealists – threw himself into political activism, joining the Communist Party in 1935. AC