Friday, 2 June 2000

From "Dada and After"

By Alan Young.

A history of the Underground is traced in a well-informed but occasionally ill-tempered and unreasonably argued book Bomb Culture (1968) by Jeff Nuttall who was himself a leading figure of the movement. The Underground was a loosely organised group or series of groups, and inculded at various times poets formerly of the Liverpool scene, writers associated with Michael Horovitz and his New Departures and Live New Departures, and with Bob Cobbing, the bookshop Better Books, and the Writers Forum. Stylistically these writers of the sixties can be linked with the pop-culture and the Neo-Dada techniques of the fifties. However, some of the performances in public and the uses of Dadaist methods reached levels of shocking violence, hysterical anti-bourgeois virulence, and anti-art which have been equalled in this century only by Dadaism and Surrealism at their most extreme.

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