German writer, born in Pirmasens in 1886 and died in Sant' Abbondio in 1927. Catholic family, Hugo Ball studied German literature, history and philosophy in Munich and Heidelberg. Between 1909 and 1910 he/she wrote his doctoral thesis Nietzsche in Basel. Eine Streitschrift (Nietzsche in Basel. A controversial letter), but did not submit it. During the following years he/she worked as a stage manager in Dresden and Munich. The close contact maintained with the art, and especially with the avant-garde theater, did that in 1913 he/she moved to Berlin, Center at the time of the literary expressionism. In 1915 he/she emigrated to Switzerland with which would be more then his wife, the actress Emmy Hennings.
Cabaret Voltaire was a co-founder of the circle of artists in Zurich, and became together with Hans Arp , Tristan Tzara and one of the main representatives of Dadaism. From 1917 until its closure in 1920 was editor of the Bernese newspaper Die Freie Zeitung. From then on he/she lived, not without hardship, in the Ticino and Italy.
In the summer of 1920 was recognized publicly as a Catholic. His radical criticism of the Protestant tradition in the German lyrics was the cause that suffered severe attacks, and after his death not be granted any importance to his work. His varied production, which contains poems, novels (Flametti oder vom Dandysmus der Armen, Flametti or about the Dandyism of the poor, 1918;) Oder Tenderenda der Phantast, Tenderenda or the dreamer, published posthumously in 1967), a biography (Hermann Hesse, 1927), essay (Zur Kritik der deutschen Intelligenz, critical of German intelligence, 1919) and autobiographical notes (Die Flucht aus der Zeit, the flight of time, 1927), as well as the essays entitled Byzantinisches Christentum (Byzantine Christianity, 1923) and writings upon his return to the Catholic doctrineshow a complex author that it oscillated continually between recognition and criticism to his own cultural tradition.