Leiris, Michel

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Leiris, Michel Gender: M
Julien Michel Leiris
born on 20 April 1901 at 20:15 (= 8:15 PM )
Place Paris Arrondissement 16, France, 48n5146, 2e1634
Timezone PMT m2e2015 (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 00°02' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 27°24 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 14°49'

Michel Leiris (1984)
photo: Charles Mallison, license cc-by-sa-3.0


French surrealist writer and ethnographer, considered a leading figure in 20th century French literature.

Between 1921 and 1924, Leiris met a number of important figures such as Max Jacob, Georges Henri Rivière, Jean Dubuffet, Robert Desnos, Georges Bataille and the artist André Masson, who soon became his mentor. Through Masson, Leiris became a member of the Surrealist movement, contributed to La Révolution surréaliste, published Simulacre (1925), and Le Point Cardinal (1927), and wrote a surrealist novel Aurora (1927–1928; first published in 1946). In 1926, he married Louise Godon, the stepdaughter of Picasso's art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and travelled to Egypt and Greece.

Following a falling-out with the surrealist leader André Breton in 1929, Leiris contributed an essay to the anti-Breton pamphlet Un Cadavre, and joined Bataille’s team as a sub-editor for Documents, to which he also regularly contributed articles. He also wrote an article on “The Ethnographer’s Eye (concerning the Dakar-Djibouti mission)” before setting off in 1930 as the secretary-archivist in Marcel Griaule's ambitious ethnographic expedition. From this experience, Leiris published his first important book in 1934, L’Afrique fantôme, combining both an ethnographic study and an autobiographical project, which broke with the traditional ethnographic writing style of Griaule.

In 1937, Leiris teamed up with Bataille and Roger Caillois to found the Collège de sociologie in response to the current international situation. Increasingly involved in politics, he took part in a mission to Côte d'Ivoire in the French colonies, in 1945. As a member of Jean-Paul Sartre's editorial committee for Les Temps modernes, Leiris was involved in a series of political struggles, including the Algerian War, and was one of the first to sign the Déclaration sur le droit à l'insoumission dans la guerre d'Algérie, the 1960 manifesto supporting the fight against the colonial forces in Algeria.

In 1961, Leiris was made head of research in ethnography at the C.N.R.S. (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) and published numerous critical texts on artists he admired, including Francis Bacon, a close friend for whom he had modelled.

He died at 9:15 AM on 30 September 1990, aged 89, in Saint-Hilaire, Essonne.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • friend relationship with Jacob, Max (born 12 July 1876)


  • Relationship : Marriage 2 February 1926 (Louise Alexandrine Godon)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death, Cause unspecified 30 September 1990 at 09:15 AM in Saint-Hilaire (Age 89)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield submitted birth certificate (16th arr., acte n° 473) from the online Paris archives. Marriage and death data in margin.

Death data from www.michel-leiris.fr: "1990... Dimanche 30 septembre. Leiris meurt à Saint-Hilaire, à 9 h 15 du matin." [1].


  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 89)
  • Vocation : Beauty : Model (Artist's model)
  • Vocation : Humanities+Social Sciences : Ethnologist
  • Vocation : Science : Anthropology
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction (Surrealist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet