Collection: Gisèle Prassinos
Gisèle Prassinos (1920–2015) was born in Istanbul of a Greek father and an Italian mother. At the age of thirteen she began to compose short absurdist vignettes in a fit of boredom, filling up pages with tales of sarcastic stains, arrogant hair, liquid frogs, and blue spiders. Encouraged by her brother, who introduced her and her experiments in automatic writing to his Surrealist colleagues, she immediately found herself welcomed into the Parisian avant-garde community and her stories were published in all the significant literary journals of the time. Her first collection was published in 1935, with a preface by Paul Éluard and a frontispiece portrait by Man Ray. With World War II, Prassinos stopped publishing and began to distance herself from the Surrealists and the limitations imposed by her writing being so closely bound to the idea of automatism in its purest, “childhood” form. Writing nothing from 1944 to 1954, she then returned to literature with a series of novels and stories that, if still imbued with a Surrealist sensibility, pointed to a new direction in her writing.