In October 1963 I met Gil J., and we schlepped to the scrap-metal market. [...] It was there that I came up with the following definition of Lettrism:
Lettrism: 1) technical definition: smithy, arsenal, place where unused weapons are stored; 2) volcanology: rumbling that announces certain volcanic eruptions. Examples: 1) “Thanks to L., insurgent groups were armed” – 2) “The people of Herculaneum did not pay heed to L.” [Acad.]
—Jean-Louis Brau, 1972
The Lettrist movement is unique in the history of avant-garde formations. Founded by Isidore Isou in Paris immediately after World War II, it remains active to this day, having lost none of its radicalism, either aesthetic or ethical.