Boris Vian, French Artist and Provocateur Remembered

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Literary Hoaxes

A half-century homage to France\”™s master-prankster
by Alison Hird
Radio France Internationale
December 7, 2009

vian-cropped_200Boris Vian [1920 \”“ 1959], the provocative writer, singer, poet, inventor and jazz trumpeter, was underestimated during his short, fast lifetime. Yet he had – and still has – a huge impact on French cultural and intellectual life. Fifty years after his death, Boris has come of age.

Listen to Alison Hird’s “Culture in France: Boris Vian” radio broadcast and read the whole article here.

In the preface to his perhaps finest and most famous novel L\”™Ecume des jours (Froth on the Daydream) Vian wrote: \”There are only two things: love, all sorts of love, with pretty girls, and the music\”¦of Duke Ellington. Everything else ought to go, because everything else is ugly\”.

Wilfully provocative maybe, but there was more than a hint of truth in those words: Vian loved jazz and everything frivolous.

He refused to take himself seriously… Read more here.