Portrait of Alphonse Allais.
Alphonse Allais, late 19th-century poster.
(THE SQUADRON'S UMBRELLA collects 39 of Allais's funniest ...)
THE SQUADRON'S UMBRELLA collects 39 of Allais's funniest stories - many originally published in the legendary paper LE CHAT NOIR, written for the Bohemians of Montmartre. Translated by Doug Skinner.
(This is the book’s first publication in English, and feat...)
This is the book’s first publication in English, and features seven additional stories from "Le Chat Noir," as well as a sublime introduction, notes on the text, and drawings by Doug Skinner.
(The first publication in English of the master humorist’s...)
The first publication in English of the master humorist’s collection, VIVE LA VIE! - stories culled from the pages of LE CHAT NOIR, packed with madcap (and bawdy) tales of love, adultery, the supernatural, military life, and fake news. Translated by Doug Skinner.
(Drawn from Black Scat’s eight editions of the master Fren...)
Drawn from Black Scat’s eight editions of the master French absurdist, this compendium is a sublime introduction to the wordplay and black humor that shocked and dazzled Bohemian Paris in the raucous "Banquet Years." Compiled and translated by Doug Skinner.
(Alphonse Allais's third collection finds him in full anti...)
Alphonse Allais's third collection finds him in full anti-bilious form: love stories, revenge stories, monologues, short-shorts, and animal stories- all affronting the reader with startlingly modern absurdity, black humour, and wordplay. Translated by Doug Skinner.
(This tale is quintessential Allais - a pataphysical text ...)
This tale is quintessential Allais - a pataphysical text admired by the Surrealists (André Breton included it in his seminal "Anthologie de l’humour noir"). Translated and illustrated by Norman Conquest.
Alphonse Allais did not say a word until the age of three; his parents thought their son was mute. At school, he was believed to be destined for a career in science. When he was only sixteen, Allais graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.
His father sent Allais to study pharmacy in Paris. There Alphonse Allais preferred to spend his time on the terraces of cafes or in the Luxembourg Gardens, and didn't show up for any of the exams at the pharmacy school. When his father found out this he decided to cut his son's financing. In 1881 Alphonse Allais eventually completed his studies.
At the beginning of his career, Allais first tried his hand in photography, following the example of his friend Charles Cros, a future poet and inventor. However, he failed in it. He then decided to work as a journalist, publishing articles for various Parisian magazines.
In 1881 he became a collaborator of the newspaper Le Chat noir. It was there that he received his first acclaim. In 1886 he was appointed editor of the Black Cat. His last article in this periodical dated back to 19 August 1893. He continued to publish his tales and other short stories in newspapers such as Gil Blas or, starting from 1892, Le Journal.
It was during this period that he published his first collections: À se tordre (1891) and Vive la vie! (1892). In general, Alphonse Allais is known as the author of many collections of whimsical writings. A poet as well as a humorist, Allais worked out the verse form known as holorhyme, i.e. made up exclusively of homophonous verses, where the whole lines are pronounced the same.
On June 9, 1894, he went to New York and Canada, accompanied by his friend Paul Fabre. He returned to France in July.
Allais is credited with writing the earliest known example of a completely silent musical composition. Alphonse Allais' Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Great Deaf Man of 1897 consisted of twenty-four blank measures. It preceded similarly silent but intellectually serious works belonged to John Cage and Erwin Schulhoff. His prose piece "Story for Sara" was later translated and illustrated by Edward Gorey.
He became editor of a humorous newspaper, Le Sourire, in 1899. It was created by Maurice Méry. He also published his collections, including Do not Hit Fate in 1900 and The Captain Cap in 1902. In the writings of Allais there always was a sort of disappointment and pessimism; he criticized the military, politicians and priests.
In addition to his writing, Alphonse Allais participated in numerous humorous exhibitions, including those of the Salon des Arts Incohérents of 1883 and 1884, organized at the Galerie Vivienne. There he became inspired by his friend Paul Bilhaud's 1882 show of an entirely black paintings entitled "Negroes fight in a tunnel", which he later reproduced under some different title. Allais exhibited probably some of the earliest examples of monochrome painting. For instance, he created a plain white sheet of Bristol paper Première communion de jeunes filles chlorotiques par un temps de neige (First Communion of Anemic Young Girls In The Snow) (1883), and a similar red work Apoplectic Cardinals Harvesting Tomatoes on the Shore of the Red Sea (Aurora Borealis Effect) (1884).
In the successive exhibitions of the Incoherent arts, in the 1880s, the writer Alphonse Allais produced such monochrome paintings as "Première communion de jeunes filles chlorotiques par un temps de neige" ("First communion of anaemic young girls in the snow", white), and "Récolte de la tomate par des cardinaux apoplectiques au bord de la Mer Rouge" ("Tomato harvesting by apoplectic cardinals on the shore of the Red Sea", red). But these artworks were more similar to 20th century Dada, or Neo-Dada, and particularly to the works of the Fluxus group of the 1960s, rather than to 20th-century monochrome painting since Malevich.
While consuming absinthe in various cafés, Alphonse Allais wrote about 1600 newspaper and magazine pieces, and co-founded the Club of the Hydropaths, which united those allergic to water.
(Alphonse Allais's third collection finds him in full anti...)2018
(The first publication in English of the master humorist’s...)2017
(Drawn from Black Scat’s eight editions of the master Fren...)2018
(This is the book’s first publication in English, and feat...)2016
(THE SQUADRON'S UMBRELLA collects 39 of Allais's funniest ...)2015
(This tale is quintessential Allais - a pataphysical text ...)2018
(It is humorist Alphonse Allais’s only novel and, translat...)2015
Jaundiced Cuckolds Handling Ochre
First Communion of Anaemic Young Girls in the Snow
The Awe of Navy Recruits Seeing for the First Time Your Blue, O Mediterranean Sea!
Apoplectic Cardinals Harvesting Tomatoes on the Shore of the Red Sea (Study of the Aurora Borealis)
Some Pimps, Known as Green Backs, on their Bellies in the Grass, Drinking Absinthe
Negroes Fighting in a Tunnel by Night
Band of Greyfriars in the Fog (Band Of Dusty Drunks In The Fog)
Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man
Alphonse Allais married a woman, Marguerite Marie Gouzée, the daughter of a brewer from Antwerp, in 1895.