48 
and mischief, moving me to all sorts of tricks. One day I attempted to paint 
on a windowpane a blue sky under the houses that I saw through the window. 
Thus the houses seemed to hang in mid-air. Sometimes I took our pictures 
out of their frames and looked with pleasure at these windows hanging on the 
wall. Another time I hung up a frame in a little wooden shack, and sawed a 
hole in the wall behind the frame, disclosing a charming landscape animated 
by men and cattle. I asked my father for his opinion of the work I had just 
completed. He gave me a strange, somewhat surprised look. As a child I also 
took pleasure in standing on the pedestal of a statue that had collapsed and 
mimicking the attitude of a modest nymph. 
Here are a few of the names of my Dadaist objects: Adam’s Head, Articulat 
ing Comma, Parrot Imitating the Thunder, Mountain with Shirtfront of 
Ice, Spelling Furniture, Eggboard, Navel Bottle. The fragility of life and hu 
man works was converted with the Dadaists into black humor. No sooner is a 
building, a monument completed than it begins to decay, fall apart, decom 
pose, crumble. The pyramids, temples, cathedrals, the paintings of the masters, 
are convincing proof of this. And the buzzing of man does not last much 
longer than the buzzing of the fly spiraling so enthusiastically around my 
baba au rhum. 
Dada aimed to destroy the reasonable deceptions of man and recover the 
natural and unreasonable order. Dada wanted to replace the logical nonsense 
of the men of today by the illogically senseless. That is why we pounded with 
all our might on the big drum of Dada and trumpeted the praises of unreason. 
Dada gave the Venus de Milo an enema and permitted Laocoon and his sons 
to relieve themselves after thousands of years of struggle with the good sau 
sage Python. Philosophies have less value for Dada than an old abandoned 
toothbrush, and Dada abandons them to the great world leaders. Dada de 
nounced the infernal ruses of the official vocabulary of wisdom. Dada is for 
the senseless, which does not mean nonsense. Dada is senseless like nature. 
Dada is for nature and against art. Dada is direct like nature. Dada is for infi 
nite sense and definite means. 
The navel bottle 
The bourgeois regarded the Dadaist as a dissolute monster, a revolutionary 
villain, a barbarous Asiatic, plotting against his bells, his safe-deposits, his 
honors. The Dadaist thought up tricks to rob the bourgeois of his sleep. He 
sent false reports to the newspapers of hair-raising Dada duels, in which his 
favorite author, the “King of Bernina,” was said to be involved. The Dadaist
	        
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