"Dada Means Nothing!" So proclaimed Tristan Tzara, the movement's tireless publicist. Yet this did not prevent the most fanatical and talented artists and writers across Europe from rushing to join its ranks. Anti-war, anti-art, anti-dada, from its beginnings in Zurich during the first World War the dadas swept aside the cultural, philosophical and political norms of their time. Utter disgust with a society that had created the war (and then expected to survive the peace) spurred them to ever greater demonstrations of revulsion and derision. Yet it was not all nihilism: many factions worked within the Dada Movement and it was Huelsenbeck's intention to embody most of them in the Dada Almanac. The largest collection of Dadaist texts ever assembled by the movement, it was originally published in 1920 in a mixture of French and German.
The Dada Almanac was truly international in scope, with substantial sections from the Swiss and French sections of the movement, it embodies Dada's failings as well as its successes, its excesses, its seriousness, its idiocy, but above all the anarchic vitality which made it such a vital precondition for so much that followed in the fields of art, literature and general cultural terrorism.