Thursday, December 3, 2009

Alphonse Allais

Couldn't sleep and was up having some apple pie
(w/ Coconut Bliss' cherry amaretto ice cream)
and a cup of kick ass coffee and was reading
_The Spirit of Montmartre: Cabarets, Humor,
and the Avant-Garde 1875-1905_
ed. by D. Cate
and M. Shaw when I ran across the

Album Primo Avrilesque by Alphonse Allais.

The wikipedia entry is muy charmant:

He is the author of many collections
of whimsical writings. A poet as much as
a humorist, he in particular cultivated the
verse form known as holorhyme, i.e. made up
entirely of homophonous verses, where
entire lines rhyme. For example:

par les bois du djinn où s'entasse de l'effroi,
parle et bois du gin ou cent tasses de lait froid.

Allais is also credited with the earliest known
example of a completely silent musical composition.
Composed in 1897, his Funeral March for the
Obsequies of a Deaf Man -- consisting of nine
blank measures -- predates comparable works by
John Cage and Erwin Schulhoff by a considerable
margin. His piece "Story for Sara" was translated
and illustrated by Edward Gorey.

Allais participated in humorous exhibitions,
particularly in those of the Salon des Arts
Incohérents of 1883 and 1884, held at the
Galerie Vivienne. At these Allais exhibited
arguably the earliest examples of Conceptual Art.
Of his art, perhaps the most influential were
his plain white sheet of Bristol paper Première
communion de jeunes filles chlorotiques par
un temps de neige (First Communion of Anaemic
Young Girls In The Snow) (1883), and a similar
red work Apoplectic Cardinals Harvesting
Tomatoes on the Shore of the Red Sea
(Study of the Aurora Borealis) (1884).

It says "many collections" of whimsical writings.
I love this period of France. I would like to see
much more of Allais. Thank you Dennis and
Mary for a lovely book.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Irrony Observes The Earthing.