cover image The Tribe

The Tribe

Jean-Michel Mension. City Lights Books, $14.95 (132pp) ISBN 978-0-87286-392-7

Inveterate 1950s-style Parisian slacker Jean-Michel Mension's first book, The Tribe: Conversations with G rard Berr by and Francesco Milo (volume 1 of Contributions to the History of the Situationist International and Its Time), arrives in this country translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Published in France in 1998, the lengthy interview concerns Paris's Saint-Germain-des-Pr s neighborhood in the years 1952-1954, when the members of Letterist International and then of Situationist International, an even more Boho crowd than Sartre et al., were hanging around at Moineau's bar and, frequently, behind bars. Mension, who began submitting writing to the Letterist journal at 18, recounts life in this fascinating, emphatically improvident, quasi-anarchist subculture, delivering vivid anecdotes and a still-fresh scoff-law sensibility. B&w photos. ( Nov.)