From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Roland Topor is best known for his novel The Tenant ("Le Locataire Chimérique", 1964), which was adapted to film by Roman Polanski in 1976. The later novel Joko's Anniversary (1969), a fable about loss of identity, is a vicious satire on social conformity.
He also wrote Leonardo Was Right (1978), Three Artists from France (1994), Je T'aime: A Pillow Talk (1998) and two works of non fiction: Panic (1965) and Journal in Time (1989).
Topor also worked as an actor, his most famous part being Renfield in Werner Herzog's Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979). In the same year, he also performed the surrealistic paralyzed boss in the movie Ratataplan by Maurizio Nichetti.
Roland Topor was discovered by Jacques Sternberg and in 1960 he publishes his debut Les Masochistes, a collection of drawings. He exhibits in the university museum Maison des Beaux-Arts, Paris from January 20 to January 30 1961.
He published several books of drawings, including Dessins panique (1965) Quatre roses pour Lucienne (1967) and Toporland (1975). Selections from Quatre roses pour Lucienne were reprinted in the English language collection Stories and Drawings (1967). His carefully detailed, realistic style, with elaborate crosshatching, emphasises the fantastic and macabre subject matter of the images.
From 1961 to 1965 he contributed to the French satirical Hara Kiri magazine.
He created the drawings for the bizarre introduction of Arrabal's film Viva la muerte (1971).
Topor published several books of drawings, including Dessins panique (1965) Quatre roses pour Lucienne (1967) and Toporland (1975). Selections from Quatre roses pour Lucienne were reprinted in the English language collection Stories and Drawings (1967). His carefully detailed, realistic style, with elaborate crosshatching, emphasises the fantastic and macabre subject matter of the images.
1961 to 1965 – Contributes to French satirical magazine Hara-Kiri.
1966 – Illustrates Daniel Spoerri's An Anecdoted Topography of Chance (Re-Anecdoted Version) published by the Something Else Press.
1989 – With Henri Xhonneux co-writes the screenplay for the film Marquis, loosely based on the life and writings of Marquis de Sade. The cast consisted of actors in period costumes with animal masks, with a separate puppet for de Sade's anthropomorphised "bodily appendage."
2011 – The Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne mounted a survey exhibition of 22 promotional posters designed by Roland Topor.
- Le Locataire chimérique
- La Vérité sur Max Lampin
- Le Bébé de Monsieur Laurent
- La Princesse Angine
- Jachère Party
- Mémoires d'un vieux con
- Joko fête son anniversaire (Roman et théâtre)
- Recueils de nouvelles
- Café Panique
- Portrait en pied de Suzanne
- Four roses for Lucienne
- La Plus Belle Paire de seins du monde
- Made in Taïwan, copyright in Mexico
- Vinci avait raison
- L'Hiver sous la Table
- Batailles, avec Jean-Michel Ribes
- Palace, avec Jean-Michel Ribes (sketches-télé)
- Merci Bernard, avec Jean-Michel Ribes (sketches)
- Le Sacré Livre de Prouto (récit)
- Journal in time (chroniques)
- Courts termes, avec Éric Devolver (entretiens)
- L'Équation du bonheur, avec Henri Rubinstein ( entretiens)
- À rebrousse-poil, avec Henri Xhonneux (échanges)
- La Cuisine cannibale (recettes)
- Rumsteack morceaux (poèmes et chansons)
- Magic lantern drawings featured in Fellini's Casanova are by Roland Topor.
- Topor is buried at the Montparnasse Cemetery
- Topor studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts
- His 1970 Joko fête son anniversaire won the Prix des Deux Magots
- Topor also contributed to Charlie Hebdo, successor of Hara-Kiri.
- Topor and Me, a 2004 short film by Sylvia Kristel.
- An Anecdoted Topography of Chance by Daniel Spoerri and Roland Topor