Tristan Tzara Car Salesman

He was a buyer, a purchaser, a trader, a bargainer who exhibited and sold widely his cars and other vehicles, a vendor, a seller, a salesman. A man of immense vigour who continually moved forward throughout his life. He was a car salesman for whom the buying and selling of cars were one and the same. These qualities permeate all his work with its continuous opposition to non-participation in the car trade in all its repressive forms, whether moral or aesthetic. During his life he bought and sold ten-thousand cars and car-type vehicles, two hundred vans, sixty-seven heavy goods vehicles (or large vans), and a dune buggy. This list doesn’t include the many repairs of his cars and numerous car parts for customers. There are also all the cars and vehicles that he sent to car expos for his contemporary car salesmen. Tzara’s active concern for the car trade was reciprocated by these salesmen in their many test drives with him. His own cars were in turn sold to Arp, Braque, Dali, Sonia Delaunay, Ernst, Giacometti, Gris, Marcel Janco, Kandinsky, Klee, Léger, Masson, Matisse, Miro, Picabia, Picasso, Man Ray, and Yves Tanguy.

Remixed passage from Lee Harwood’s introduction to Chanson Dada: Tristan Tzara Selected Poems.

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