Kurt Schwitters Further Reading

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Further Reading

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

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Steinitz, Kate Trauman. Kurt Schwitters: A Portrait From Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968, 221 p.

Biographical sketch of Schwitters with commentary on some of his better-known literary works.


Bacon, Thomas I. "Two From Germany." Furman Studies XXI, No. 4 (June 1974): 7-12.

Mentions Schwitters's poem "In a World of Disappointments" as an example of his "reflective and sentimental" work.

Dietrich, Dorothea. The Collages of Kurt Schwitters: Tradition and Innovation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 240 p.

Sees Schwitters as an example of avant-garde innovation within a surviving artistic tradition. Dietrich examines Schwitters's relation to Expressionistic theory, postwar politics, the representation of women, and the development of the collage form.

Elderfield, John. "Schwitters's Abstract 'Revolution.'" German Life & Letters XXIV, No. 3 (April 1971): 256-61.

Analyzes the first chapter of Schwitters's unfinished novel Franz Müllers Drahtfrühling as an absurd fable concerning the artist's role in society.

——Kurt Schwitters. London: Thames and Hudson, 1985, 424 p.

Studies Schwitters as a modernist artist, and aims at "providing a clear picture of Schwitters's art as a unified whole and of the ambitions and influences that informed it."

Jones, M. S. "Kurt Schwitters, Der Sturm and Expressionism." In Modern Languages LII, No. 4 (December 1971): 157-60.

Considers Schwitters's relationship to the German periodical Der Sturm, as it relates to his Expressionist desire for a "total work of art" and his Dadaist negation of all art.

Last, Rex. Review of Das literarische Prosa 1931-1948, by Kurt Schwitters. Times Literary Supplement, No. 3942 (14 October 1977): 1206.

Views Schwitters's short prose pieces as arbitrary, uncomposed, and half-thought out, claiming that they demonstrate "the strange, hermetic, private world that Schwitters inhabited."

Lavin, Maud. "Advertising Utopia: Schwitters as Commercial Designer." Art in America 73 (October 1985): 134-39, 69.

Discusses the years Schwitters spent as an advertising designer, seeing his commercial graphics as both radically Utopian and politically conservative.

Middleton, Christopher. "Pattern Without Predictability, or Pythagoras Saved: A Comment on Kurt Schwitters' 'Gedicht 25.'" In Bolshevism in Art, and Other Expository Writings, pp. 209-13. Manchester: Carcanet New Press, 1978.

Explores the Dada spirit of anti-art, chaos, and subversion represented in Schwitters's poem "Gedicht 25."

Paley, Nicholas. "Experiments in Picture Book Design: Modern Artists Who Made Books for Children 1900-1985." Children's Literature Association Quarterly 16, No. 4 (Winter 1991-92): 264-69.

Notes Schwitters's collaboration with Kate Steinitz and Theo Van Doesburg to produce the experimental children's picture book Die Scheuche (The Scarecrow).

Retiz, Leonard. "Schwitters and the Literary Tradition." German Life & Letters XXVII, No. 4 (July 1974): 303-15.

Claims that Schwitters's poetry, although unique, is not as anti-traditional as its abstruse form and appearance might suggest.

Zeller, Dennis E. "Kurt Schwitters: Unity, Reconstruction and the Missing 'J.'" German Life & Letters XXVI, No. 4 (July 1973): 297-306.

Examines several poems by Schwitters in order to perceive "the ways in which he attempted to upset our normal expectations and forms of artistic thought," including such conceptions as unity and completeness.