The Four Little Girls and Desire Caught by the Tail

By Pablo Picasso

Translated by Roland Penrose

ISBN: 9781847498021

128 pages

RRP: £5.99 £4.79

In the 1940s, Picasso wrote two plays in French: the first, Desire Caught by the Tail, was conceived during the German occupation of Paris and features a cast of grotesque allegorical characters such as the Onion, Silence or Fat Anxiety discussing the crucial wartime themes of hunger, cold and love; the second, The Four Little Girls, came about a few years after the end of the war on the French Riviera, and presents the stream-of-consciousness thoughts of four unnamed girls in a vegetable garden, revealing an unexpectedly evil aspect of childhood.

These surreal compositions, which were meant to be read aloud rather than formally staged, are a testament to the great artist’s imaginative powers, and have been considered as forerunners to the theatre of the absurd of the 1950s, as exemplified by Beckett, Ionesco and Adamov.


  • Life, love, death… marvellously and dazzlingly intertwined by the genius of Picasso

    Michel Leiris

Pablo Picasso

Born in Malaga, Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) spent most of his career in France, where he became a pivotal figure in the Cubist and Surrealist movements. He is now considered one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.