Published: November 2007
J'irai cracher sur vos tombes was written in ten days in 1946 under the pseudonym Vernon Sullivan. Vian had made a wager that he can compose a best-seller novel, and when a copy of the book was found in the hotel room of a murder victim, it gained a success beyond anyone's expectations. "Vian's book has a certain weary, mysogynistic humor - the chicks fuck like rabbits, or minks, and our hero gets a certain charge, or arrives at the mercy of a nearly unbearable ecstasy, out of his private knowledge that they are being fucked by a nigger: he is committing the crime for which his brother was murdered, he is fucking these cunts with his brother's prick. And he comes three times, so to speak, each time he comes, once for his brother, and once for the "little death" of the orgasms to which he always brings the ladies, and uncontrollably, for the real death to which he is determined to bring them." (James Baldwin in The Devil Finds Work) The book sold 100,000 copies before it was banned - Vian was fined 100,000 francs. American hard-boiled fiction was familiar for Vian - he translated from Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain. Other writers included Nelson Algren, Strindberg, Pirandello, and Brendan Behan, and from the field of science fiction A.E. van Vogt, William Tenn, Henry Kuttner, and Ray Bradbury. New Sullivans followed in 1947 and 1948. At the same time Vian produced more or less serious novels, plays and poems. A short opera, Fiesta, written for Darius Milhaud, was performed in Berlin in 1948.