About the Book

The Tribe

The Tribe

October 2001
Trade Paperback · 145 Pages
$14.95 U.S. · $16.99 CAN · £9.99 U.K. · €10.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780872863927
City Lights Publishers


Recommended for These Courses


Between 1952 and 1954, Jean-Michel Mension haunted Saint-Germain-des-Prés as a member of the legendary Letterist International, direct progenitor of the Situationist International. In a series of conversations, Mension recounts this very particular vie de bohème whiled away with Guy Debord and a rogue's gallery of hard drinkers and thinkers. The rich iconography includes many of Ed van der Elsken's celebrated photographs of "the tribe" and a trove of Letterist leaflets and posters. A rare, vivid tour of a moment and milieu barely noticed at the time by the tourists flocking to Saint-Germain for a glimpse of Sartre & Co.

Jean-Michel Mension (b. 1934) later joined the Communist Party and participated in the Ligue Communiste.