Isidore Isou was a young Jew in wartime Bucharest who barely survived the Romanian Holocaust. He made his way to Paris, where — as handsome and as charismatic as the young Elvis — he gathered around himself a group of hooligan disciples who argued, drank, and had sex with the Left Bank’s intellectual élite. In 1945, he founded the avant-garde movement Lettrism, described as the missing link between Dada, Surrealism, Situationism, and May ’68. Isou was a visionary who also believed something which was absurd and impossible: that he was the Messiah sent to lead all humanity to redemption.
Andrew Hussey, author of the biography SPEAKING EAST: THE STRANGE AND ENCHANTED LIFE OF ISIDORE ISOU, will position the extraordinary life of this much overlooked figure within the main currents of postwar art and thought.
Andrew Hussey was formerly dean and professor at the University of London in Paris. He has written for the New Statesman, Observer, and New York Times, and his books include Paris: The Secret History and The French Intifada. He lives in Paris