Michel Leiris

Michel Leiris

French writer and ethnologist
Date of Birth: 20.04.1901
Country: France

  1. Biography of Michel Leiris
  2. He passed away on September 30, 1990, in Saint-Hilaire.

Biography of Michel Leiris

Michel Leiris was a French writer and ethnologist, born on April 20, 1901, in Paris. From a young age, he had a strong interest in surrealism. During the 1920s and 1930s, he contributed to the journal "La Révolution surréaliste" and was also involved in the publication of their journal, "Documents".

In 1931-1933, Leiris participated in the ethnographic expedition led by Marcel Griaule known as the "Dakar-Djibouti Mission". Upon returning from the expedition, he attended courses by Marcel Mauss at the Institute of Ethnology and later became the head of the African department at the Trocadéro Ethnographic Museum. In 1934, Leiris published the diary of his African journey, titled "Phantom Africa".

In 1939, Leiris released his book "Man's Age", which marked the beginning of a series of autobiographical works. Immediately after completing this book, he started working on the first part of a four-volume autobiography known as "The Rules of the Game". "Man's Age" remains Leiris's most famous book, gaining wide recognition and significant influence on the literary scene in France.

In 1945, Leiris co-founded the journal "Présence Africaine" with the sociologist Georges Balandier. He actively opposed French colonialism and, in 1960, signed the "Manifesto 121" advocating for the right of the Algerian people to resist.

One of Leiris's last works was the extensive and controversial "Journal", which included essays about contemporary artists such as Francis Bacon and Giacometti, many of whom he had befriended. Michel Leiris lived a long life and had the opportunity to participate in many events that shaped the cultural landscape of the twentieth century.

He passed away on September 30, 1990, in Saint-Hilaire.