Saturday, 3 May 2014

Emmy Ball-Hennings (1885 - 1948) - German


I am keen to include poets from as many countries of the world as possible, in order to demonstrate the global impact of the First World War.  The following information has been kindly compiled and supplied by Penelope Monkhouse.

Emmy Ball-Hennings (1885 Flensburg – 1948 Sorengo/Lugano) (née Emma Maria Cordsen) was the daughter of  Ernst Cordsen, a ship rigger.
From 1904 until1907 Emmy was married to Joseph Paul Hennings, a type setter and amateur actor, with whom she joined a touring theatre company. The couple had two children, Joseph (1904-1905) and Annemarie (*1905).
After separating from her first husband, Emmy moved around Europe as an actress and cabaret artist, leaving her daughter with her mother. In 1905 she worked with the Theatre society Schmidt-Agte in Elmshorn; from 1906-1908 she worked for Oskar Brönner’s theatre group, which played in Schleswig-Holstein..
In 1909 Emmy appeared in Berlin in the Neopathetischen Cabaret des Neuen Clubs. In 1914 she wrote freelance for the journal Simplicissimus, composed her first poems and met Hugo Ball, with whom she emigrated to Switzerland the following year.
In Zürich, with Jean (Hans) Arp, Richard Hülsenbeck and others, Emmy and Hugo  founded the Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of Dadaism. Shortly afterwards, to provide more space for visual art, they founded the Galerie Dada. Emmy Hennings and Hugo Ball were married in February 1920; they then ended their work with Dada and moved to Tessin where they began a friendship with Hermann Hesse.
References:
Poetry by Emmy Ball-Hennings:
- Die letzte Freude, Bücherei “Der jüngste Tag”, Wolff-Verlag, Leipzig, 1913.
- Helle Nacht. Reiß Verlag, Berlin 1922
- Der Kranz. Benzinger Verlagsanstalt, Einsiedeln, Köln, 1939
E. Ball-Hennings: Briefe an Hermann Hesse (Letters to Herman Hesse), edited and introduced by  Annemarie Schütt-Hennings; Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, 1956 [Later ed.: Suhrkamp TB 142, Frankfurt, 1984].
R. Caluori: Emmy Ball-Hennings. In: Andreas Kotte (Ed.): Theaterlexikon der Schweiz, Vol. 1. Chronos, Zürich 2005, S. 107.
Bärbel Reetz: Emmy Ball-Hennings, Leben im Vielleicht; eine Biographie. - Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 2001
René Gass: Emmy Ball-Hennings: Wege und Umwege zum Paradies; eine Biographie, Zürich: Pendo Verl., 1998. 

Photo: Google Images

Penelope Monkhouse (born 1952) is a German-British scientist living in Schwetzingen/Germany and is a granddaughter of the novelist, dramatist and literary critic Allan Monkhouse. Literature of the early 20th century is presently one of her chief non-scientific interests; she is presently engaged on a comparative study of German and English poetry of this period. She also writes poetry of her own and translates poetry to and from German and English.

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