Speaking East

Andrew Hussey


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Reaktion Books
11 October 2021
ISBN: 9781789144925
324 pages

From the publisher

A vibrant account of both the sensuous cultural scene of postwar Paris and the life of an alluring icon of modern art. Isidore Isou was a young Jew in wartime Bucharest who barely survived the Romanian Holocaust. He made his way to Paris, where, in 1945, he founded the avant-garde movement Lettrism, described as the missing link between Dada, Surrealism, Situationism, and May '68. In Speaking East, Andrew Hussey presents a colorful picture of the postwar Left Bank, where Lettrist fists flew in avantgarde punch-ups in Jazz clubs and cafes, and where Isou-as sexy and as charismatic as the young Elvis-gathered around him a group of hooligan disciples who argued, drank, and had sex with the Parisian intellectual elite. This is a vibrant account of the life and times of a pivotal figure in the history of modern art.