Julien Torma

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Julien Torma.

Julien Torma (April 6, 1902 – February 17, 1933) was a French writer, playwright and poet who was part of the Dadaist movement. He was born in Cambrai, France, and died in Tyrol.

A friend of Max Jacob and Robert Desnos, he was near the surrealist group without adhering to surrealism. He felt himself nearer to Alfred Jarry's 'pataphysics than André Breton's surrealism. Most of his writings were posthumously revealed by the French College of 'Pataphysique.

Julien Torma disappeared in the mounts of Tyrol at the age of 30. He possibly committed suicide.[which?][citation needed]

Due to his elusive behaviour and the impossibility to check his life facts,[1] it has been suggested many times that Julien Torma's existence may be entirely fictional.[2] His purported birthday, April 6, is marked as "the birthday of pataphysics" in the "pataphysics calendar". Nevertheless, some[3] believe that a real writer eager to create confusion authored the first four publications and Porte battantes. Anyway, would the person be real, Torma has to be a pen name: according to the French institute for statistics INSEE, since 1891, only three Torma births have been recorded in France, all of them between 1941 and 1965 in the South-West.


  • The Obscure Lamp. 1919.
  • The Big Troche. 1925.
  • Cuts. 1926.
  • Euphorisms. 1926.

Posthumous publications[edit]

  • Lebordelamer. 1955.
  • Le Bétrou. 1955.
  • Porte Battante. 1963.
  • Grabuge. 1998.
  • Definitively incomplete writings. 2003.


  1. ^ family members die or leave him early in life, every writer he is supposed to have known died long before the publication of his books, no professional career, no fixed address, his body was never recovered
  2. ^ Michel Corvin Essai d'interprétation d'une mystification Littéraire
  3. ^ Jean-François Jeandillou, Supercheries littéraires, USHER, 1991