22
Feb
09

Kiki (Alice Prin)

kiki-21

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeCDT1pb9s8&eurl=http://thedailymuse.org/2008/02/

 Kiki’s Memoirs. Introduction By Ernest Hemingway.
by KIKI (ALICE PRIN). Publisher Information:
Paris: Black Manikin Press, 1930.

This book was published the following year in New York City by Black Manikin Press but it was banned by the United States government. Kiki’s Memoirs remained barred in the United States as late as the 1970s when it was still held in the section for banned books in the New York Public Library. Finally, in 1996, her book was translated and published.

Hemingway wrote the introduction to this autobiography of Alice Prin, an exotic model known as “Kiki.” Hemingway’s introduction was also published separately as a pamphlet. Hemingway praised Kiki’s skill as a writer and there is considerable evidence that suggests his own memoir, A Moveable Feast, was influenced by that of Kiki.

THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the Memoirs of Kiki of Montparnasse is back in print after many years. For students of Hemingway, this is an important event for a number of reasons. First, because it includes one of Hemingway’s liveliest pieces of critical prose–the introduction written especially for the English version published in Paris in 1930. Second, because of Kiki’s importance in the Paris of the twenties. As Ernest himself said, It was also very pleasant aft> r working, to see Kiki. She was very wonderful to look at. Having a fine face to start with she had made it a work of art. She had a wonderfully beautiful body and a fine voice, talking voice, not singing voice, and she certainly dominated the era of Montparnasse more than Queen Victoria ever dominated the Victorian Era. (Kluver 50)

 Kiki, was the stage name for Alice Ernestine Prin (1901 – 1953), a nightclub singer, actress, model, and painter.

 Born in Chatillon-sur-Seine, Cte d’Or, Burgundy, France on October 2, 1901. An illegitimate child, she was raised in abject poverty by her grandmother. At age 12 she was sent to Paris to be educated and by age 14 she was posing nude for sculptors.

Alice Prin became one of the most famous artists’ models ever, the most notable of which is a colection of photographs by Man Ray and the portrait of her painted by Moise Kisling titled Nu assis. Her partnership with Man Ray produced some of Surrealism’s most significant images. The symbol of bohemian and creative Paris, at age 28 she was declared “Queen of Montparnasse.” Her music hall performances, in black hose and garters, included crowd-pleasing raunchy songs, which somehow were both uninhibited yet inoffensive. She also had a role in nine different motion pictures, including Fernand Leger’s famous Ballet mcanique.

She was the mistress of Man Ray, and a friend of Chaim Soutine, Jean Cocteau, Max Ernst and other artists. Ernest Hemingway and Tsuguharu Foujita provided the introduction for her 1929 memoirs. This book was published the following year in New York City by Black Manikin Press but it was banned by the United States government. Kiki’s Memoirs remained barred in the United States as late as the 1970s when it was still held in the section for banned books in the New York Public Library. Finally, in 1996, her book was translated and published.

Long after her time, Kiki remains the embodiment of the outspokenness, audacity, and creativity that marked this period of Montparnasse. She has a Daylily named after her: Kiki De Montparnasse.

A capable painter in her own right, a sold-out exhibition of Kiki’s own paintings was held in Paris’ Galerie au Sacre du Printemps in 1927. Her drawings and paintings comprised portraits and dreamy landscapes composed in a light, slightly uneven expressionist style that was very much a reflection of her own easy-going manner and boundless optimism.

Even during difficult times, she maintained her positive attitude saying, “All I need is an onion, a bit of bread, and a bottle of red (wine); and I will always find somebody to offer me that.”

When she died, a huge crowd of artists and fans attended her funeral. Foujita said that with Kiki, they buried forever the glorious days of Montparnasse.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Kiki (Alice Prin)”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


1984 Computer portrait from State Fair

February 2009
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425262728  

%d bloggers like this: