Paris: 1969. 1 leaf (210 X 297mm), dactylograph on recto/verso, dated 30 September 1969. Very good. Item #3677
¶ SCARCE ANTI-PSYCHIATRY MANIFESTO BY THE "GROUPE LETTRISTE," a French avant-garde movement which involved political theory, art, film, and poetry. "Lettrism" was founded in Paris in the mid-1940s by Romanian Isidore Isou. Lettrism was inspired by Dada and Surrealism, but was far more political.
In May and June 1968, Isou was committed to the clinic of Doctor Ferdiere, who had treated (among others) Antonin Artaud and Georges Bataille. Isou vigorously attacks Ferdiere's controversial electro-shock treatment to which he had been submitted. In the present Anti-Psychiatry manifesto, Isou attacks Ferdiere for having "killed" Artaud and also Gabrielle Russier, an associate professor of literature. Born in 1937, Russier committed suicide in 1969 after being convicted of having sexual relations with a 16 year-old former student.
Isou likens Ferdiere as the "Eichmann of Nazi Psychiatry." Lettriste tracts such as this one were pasted up on the walls of the hospital of Sainte-Anne and La Salpetriere, the largest hospital in Paris.
Our manifesto, no doubt written by Isou, is signed by "Le groupe des psychologues socialistes, le groupe de psychotherapie nouvelle de Nanterre et de Vincennes, le comite des amis de Gabrielle Russier, les psychologues de 'Partisans.'"
Isou and his fellow Lettrist Maurice Lemaitre subsequently wrote an entire book of outrageous insults against Ferdiere, titled "Antonin Artaud Tortured by the Psychiatrists." They asserted: "Dr Gaston Ferdiere is one of the greatest criminals in the entire history of humanity: a new Eichmann," and demanded his immediate arrest
LITERATURE: Andrew Hussey, "Speaking East: The Strange and Enchanted Life of Isidore Isou" (2021).