45 
her two studios had set up canteens where artists could eat supper for very 
little money. Our friends on leave from the front spoke to us of the war, and 
when the gloom was too great a young woman with a pleasant voice sang: En 
passant par la Lorraine avec mes sabots ... A drunken Swede accompanied 
her on the piano. Every night my brother and I walked several miles from 
Montmartre to the Gare Montparnasse, where Wassilieff’s studio was located, 
through the darkness of Paris menaced by the Germans. Eggeling lived in a 
damp and sinister studio on the Boulevard Raspail. Across from him lived 
Modigliani, who often came to see him, to recite Dante and get drunk. He 
also took cocaine. One night it was decided that along with several other in 
nocents I should be initiated into the “paradis artificiels.” Each of us gave 
Modigliani several francs with which to lay in a store of the drug. We waited 
for hours. Finally he returned, hilarious and sniffling, having consumed the 
whole supply by himself. Eggeling did not paint much at that time; for hours 
he would discuss art. I met him again in 1917 in Zurich. He was searching for 
the rules of a plastic counterpoint, composing and drawing its first elements. 
He tormented himself almost to death. On great rolls of paper he had set 
down a sort of hieratic writing with the help of figures of rare proportion and 
beauty. These figures grew, subdivided, multiplied, moved, intertwined from 
one group to another, vanished and partly reappeared, organized themselves 
into an impressive construction with plantlike forms. He called this work 
a “Symphony.” He died in 1922. With his friend Hans Richter he had just fin 
ished adapting his invention to the cinema. 
Secretly, in his quiet little room, Janco devoted himself to a “naturalism 
in zigzag.” I forgive him this secret vice because in one of his paintings he 
evoked and commemorated the “Cabaret Voltaire.” On a platform in an 
overcrowded room, splotched with color, are seated several fantastic char 
acters who are supposed to represent Tzara, Janco, Ball, Huelsenbeck, Mad 
ame Hennings, and your humble servant. We are putting on one of our big 
Sabbaths. The people around us are shouting, laughing, gesticulating. We 
reply with sighs of love, salvos of hiccups, poems, and the bow-wows and 
meows of mediaeval bruitists. Tzara makes his bottom jump like the belly 
of an oriental dancer. Janco plays an invisible violin and bows down to the 
ground. Madame Hennings with a face like a madonna attempts a split. 
Huelsenbeck keeps pounding on a big drum, while Ball, pale as a plaster 
dummy, accompanies him on the piano. The honorific title of nihilists was be 
stowed on us. The directors of public cretinization conferred this name on 
all those who did not follow in their path. The great matadors of the “Dadaist 
Movement” were Ball and Tzara. Ball in my opinion is one of the greatest 
German writers. He was a long, dry man with the face of a pater dolorosus.
	        
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