By Isidore Isou
Edited by Julian Kabza, Translated by Ian Thompson, Anna O'Meara, Julian Kabza, Nadege LeJeune, and Charles Penwarden. Introduction by Adrian Martin. Forward by Frédérique Devaux. Interview with Isou by Roland Sabatier. Afterword by Erik Bullot.
From the introduction:
"Who is Isou? Some may know that he was the founder and leader of a movement in art and thought named Lettrism. Some may know the remarkable film he made a year before he wrote his manifesto, the Treatise on Venom & Eternity, a breakthrough work of feature-length experimentation that was to win fans including Stan Brakhage—Isou himself would coldly remark, many years later, that Jean-Luc Godard and Guy Debord (to name only two luminaries whom he considered his mortal enemies) stole everything from it. Some might have come to the legend of Isou through the fond passage devoted to him in Greil Marcus' book on the distant origins of punk, Lipstick Traces—a book whose subtitle evokes 'a secret history of the 20th century.' In that book, Marcus tells the fine story of his teenage niece stumbling upon the photos on his desk of a young Isou in the late 1940s, and mistaking the artist for a contemporary pop star. And Isou did indeed look the part—especially in a self-portrait which was an example of what the Lettrists called hypergraphics, a work mixing the media of photography, painting, drawing, and Lettrist poetry."
"Isou chipped language down to the bone that it might build its flesh up again, fresh and new. It is one of the grand aesthetic visions of the late twentieth century. His cinema, in particular, is a marvelous document of the secret history of our times. Here at last is the book that, for Anglophone readers and beyond, cements his fleeting presence for all time." — McKenzie Wark
"Long-overdue, this translation of Isou's masterpiece—together with its contextual essays and interviews by Martin, Devaux, Sabatier, and Bullot—will be a monumental resource for international research into the origins of the Lettrist movement along with postwar Experimental Film and Media Art." — Andrew V. Uroskie
April 15, 2019
160 pages, 9.8 x 6.9 inches