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Brief Biography

Boris Vian celebrated his extraordinary imagination and astonishing facility with language with a disorganised career of writing, playing music, fixing old cars, throwing and attending parties and attacking any form of pretention or bureacracy.

He particularly disliked organised religion and the military, but also scorned any regimentation in public or personal life.

His works range from the best-selling sex-and-violence thrillers under the name of Vernon Sullivan through popular songs, plays, short stories, to the beautiful and surreal novels he wrote under his own name, L'Arrache Coeur (Heartsnatcher), L'Herbe Rouge and his masterpiece L'Ecume des jours (Froth on the daydream).

Vian was surrealist and an absurdist by nature as well as intention. His goal in writing was to convey delight in the capacity language has to present an imaginary world more real and telling than the drab day-to-day existence of "ordinary life" .

After his death he became a hero to the '68 student revolution, especially in France, where his literary fame also grew. In English he is barely known.

Stanley Chapman captured Vian's spirit with his quintessential translation Froth on the Daydream, which has become a minor classic.