To August Hofmann


                           [Berlin] March 10th [19]15

My dear Gusti,

Suddenly, on impulse, I’m compelled to write you. It’s a quiet evening. I’m alone at home, pacing back and forth, whistling melancholy, bizarre Cakewalk-melodies from Munich to myself. Oh this war!


When will one laugh again! and dance! And hold a delicate, sweet, capricious cadence for worthier of living and dying for than this idiocy, this brutality, this beastly visage of war!   . . .



To Tristan Tzara

                                                                                                                                                   Vira, July 31st, 1916


Dear Herr Tzara,

Vira-Magadino is more beautiful than Zurich, Dada and all related themata. We are living in a small church next to the Madonna del Sasso, and the desperate church bells of Ticino make terrifying music. One sings “Quanto è bella, quanto è nobile!”, and reads —̶  Dostoyevsky. One preaches to the fish in the Lago Maggiore, and there are a bit too many rocks on the mountains.

You are sent best regards.

                                     Hugo Ball






To Emmy Hennings



                  Magadino, Pentecost Sunday [1917]


My beloved Emmylein,

I thank you so very much that I am here. I arrived completely exhausted and feeble. My voice, my eyes, my heart —̶    everything quite weary. But I felt that I will rally quickly. It is certainly so wonderfully peaceful. The room and the entire air smell of roses. . .

. . . I can’t write Tzara yet, and that is certainly bad. But I can’t whip up the strength. I break into a sweat if I think about the most minor thing that is to be done. I want to write him tomorrow. He must believe me that I endured as long as I possibly could. But lately I couldn’t anymore. I have said it often enough. It is, surely, not surprising. You certainly have a great deal to do. More than one thinks. I know a thousand little things. But you are much more practical than all of us put together. And so you will be finished quickly. I want to send the letters for Walden tomorrow. Don’t forget to pack the Cabaret books. . .