The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from June 2014

The Complete Works of Alphonse Allais (4-6)

June 30th, 2014 · No Comments

The rest of François Caradec’s edition of Alphonse Allais’s works is devoted to the “posthumous works.” The term is not quite accurate; almost all of the material was published in Allais’s lifetime. However, it wasn’t included in the collections that Allais himself called his “anthumous works.”  By Caradec’s count, there are 1,887 articles, novels, pamphlets, […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Alphonse Allais · Literature

The Complete Works of Alphonse Allais (1-3)

June 23rd, 2014 · 3 Comments

Since so little is available in English about Alphonse Allais, and since I’m translating him, I think it would be useful to post a description of his complete works.  The standard edition was edited by François Caradec, and published by La Table Ronde in eleven volumes, from 1964 to  1970.  I’ll summarize it in four […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Alphonse Allais · Literature

Children’s Card Games (204)

June 8th, 2014 · 1 Comment

“How Silas Popped the Question,” published in 1915 by Parker Brothers, was another precursor of “Mad Libs,” like the other early games “Dr. Quack” and “Peter Coddle.”  One player reads the story of Silas’s attempts to overcome his shyness and propose to Sally, and the others read cards giving his many unromantic attempts at conversation.  […]

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Tags: Card Games