He brought Surrealism into being.


A teenage runaway who happened to be possessed of genius.

A. J. Liebling Sitting at Desk

One of history’s great noticers.

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“There are no innocent bourgeois.”

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Luc Sante on Spoonie Gee’s “Spoonin’ Rap” (1979)


Anarchist, litterateur, honest man.

Luc Sante vs. FLANNEL BALL

“Surrealism is the order of the day, and Desnos is its prophet”

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“Poetry should be made by all. Not by one.”

He discovered photography’s affinity with the social uncanny.


The clochard who chronicled freedom from the straight world.

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Dashiell Hammett vs. The Situationists

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She could make a rising inflection transcend all the bitterness.


In American humor, she discerned “a deep-lying mood of dis­severance.”

He was a model for the “gentleman cambrioleur” Arsène Lupin.

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Jules Verne on laudanum, and four other writers rolled into one.

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A founding member of the Bouzingos.

He was called “the musketeer of anarchy.”


One of his novels argues that theft is a reasonable career path.

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He was poet laureate of the live ones.

Robbed a train, recorded with the Sex Pistols.


He was a great writer and a cautionary tale.

He was a poet of the urban night.

Poet, boxer, and enigmatic pioneer of self-invention.