The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from April 2013

Alphonse Allais’s “Petite Correspondance”

April 30th, 2013 · 7 Comments

We return to the great French journalist, humorist and nonpareil, Alphonse Allais.  I remind you that my translations of his Captain Cap stories, Captain Cap Volumes 1 and 2, are available from Black Scat Books; and that further installments are scheduled for July and August.  A collection of his immortal mockery of the reactionary critic […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Alphonse Allais · Literature

Shakespeare’s Apocrypha Illustrated

April 23rd, 2013 · 4 Comments

Today is Shakespeare’s birthday, maybe; the exact date is uncertain.  But it’s a good uncertain date to appreciate that Stratfordian ullage, Shakespeare’s apocrypha. Although the canonical plays have long inspired artists, the apocrypha have been largely unillustrated.  Many of them are perfectly fine plays, but suffer that curious stigma of being once ascribed but now […]

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Tags: Liminal Graphics · Literature

Children’s Card Games (200)

April 18th, 2013 · 2 Comments

For our 200th example of that curious, under the radar, often anonymous graphic genre, the children’s card game, please contemplate “Choice Thoughts by Longfellow,” an 1890 offering from Milton Bradley.  The player collects sets of five (a title and four quotations from a poem), as well as a binding card that affects the scoring.  I’ve […]

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Tags: Card Games · Liminal Graphics

The Computer Will Never Replace the Newspaper

April 16th, 2013 · 4 Comments

(Posted by Doug Skinner.  The illustration is from Safe Counsel, by B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols, 1928.)

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Tags: Cartoons · Symbols

Alphonse Allais Caricatured (4)

April 15th, 2013 · No Comments

Our final gallery of caricatures begins with one by André Rouveyre. Jean Veber, who drew a number of portraits of Allais, chose to portray him as a horse in this sketch.  At least, I think that’s a horse. The playwright Sacha Guitry, who had the unfortunate experience of trying to write a play with Allais, […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Cartoons · Literature

Twelve Signs of the Idiac

April 11th, 2013 · 4 Comments

I didn’t know that the Illinois State Department of Health issued cartoons; this one is striking.  I found it in a 1928 book called Safe Counsel, by B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols.  Don’t be like this man! (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Cartoons

Alphonse Allais Caricatured (3)

April 9th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Georges Lorin made this sketch of Allais sometime in the ’90s. Jean Veber added to his gallery of Allais caricatures, with a portrait of Allais in the costume he proposed for the members of the Académie Française. Jean Villemot drew this curious portrait for the cover of Le Sourire. An anonymous silhouette, from a country […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Cartoons · Literature

The New Pope

April 4th, 2013 · 8 Comments

The new pope, Francis, has enjoyed extensive press coverage, but it must be pointed out that he is not the only one in the game.  This flyer was handed to me today, presumably by the other pope herself.  I wish her well; it’s not an easy job, and Francis has a head start.  (Please click […]

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Tags: Clubs and Associations