Colorfool

Album primo-avrilesque, meaning April-Foolish Album, is a collection of visual jokes published by the French humourist Alphonse Allais (1854-1905) on 1st April 1897. Note that some of the captions can’t be translated fully into English, because they use French idioms that refer to color.

Combat de nègres dans une cave, pendant la nuit
Negroes fighting in a cellar at night


Stupeur de jeunes recrues apercevant pour la première fois ton azur, O Méditerranée!
Astonishment of young naval recruits seeing for the first time your blue, O Mediterranean!


Des souteneurs, encore dans la force de l’âge et le ventre dans l’herbe, boivant de l’absinthe
Pimps, still in the prime of life and with bellies to the grass, drinking absinthe
(Pimps were then known as dos verts or “green-backs”)


Manipulation de l’ocre par des cocus ictériques
Handling of ochre by jaundiced cuckolds
(According to one page I’ve found, coucou is the name given to some yellow wild-flowers, and cuckolds can be yellow with jealousy)


Récolte de la tomate par des cardinaux apoplectiques au bord de la mer Rouge (Effet d’aurore boréale)
Harvesting of tomatoes by apoplectic cardinals on the shore of the Red Sea (effect of the Aurora Borealis)


Ronde de pochards dans le brouillard
Dance of drunks in the fog
(Slang for “drunk” in French is gris, which also means “gray”)


Première communion de jeunes filles chlorotiques par un temps de neige
First communion of anaemic young girls in snowy weather


Marche funèbre, composée pour les funérailles d’un grand homme sourd
Funeral March, composed for the obsequies of a great deaf man


Performativizing Papyrocentricity #58

Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:

Diamond in the DirtDirty Story: A further account of the life and adventures of Arthur Abdel Simpson, Eric Ambler (Bodley Head 1967)

Spin DoctorateGossamer Days: Spiders, Humans and Their Threads, Eleanor Morgan (Strange Attractor Press 2016)

Kid ChaosStill William, Richmal Crompton (1925)

Permission to BlandSomething Fresh, P.G. Wodehouse (1915)

Succulent Selections – for Sizzlingly Serebral Splanchnoscopophilists…

Tempting a Titan – a further exclusive extract from Titans of Transgression (TransVisceral Books, forthcoming)


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Eight Speech

OCTOPUS

By Algernon Charles Sin-burn

STRANGE beauty, eight-limbed and eight-handed,
    Whence camest to dazzle our eyes?
With thy bosom bespangled and banded
    With the hues of the seas and the skies;
Is thy home European or Asian,
    O mystical monster marine?
Part molluscous and partly crustacean,
    Betwixt and between.

Wast thou born to the sound of sea trumpets,
    Hast thou eaten and drunk to excess
Of the sponges — thy muffins and crumpets;
    Of the seaweed — thy mustard and cress?
Wast thou nurtured in caverns of coral,
    Remote from reproof or restraint?
Art thou innocent, art thou immoral,
    Sinburnian or Saint?

Lithe limbs, curling free, as a creeper
    That creeps in a desolate place,
To enroll and envelop the sleeper
    In a silent and stealthy embrace,
Cruel beak craning forward to bite us,
    Our juices to drain and to drink,
Or to whelm us in waves of Cocytus,
    Indelible ink!

O breast, that ’twere rapture to writhe on!
    O arms, ’twere delicious to feel
Clinging close with the crush of the Python,
    When she maketh her murderous meal!
In thy eightfold embraces enfolden,
    Let our empty existence escape;
Give us death that is glorious and golden,
    Crushed all out of shape!

Ah! thy red lips, lascivious and luscious,
    With death in their amorous kiss,
Cling round us, and clasp us, and crush us,
    With bitings of agonized bliss;
We are sick with the poison of pleasure,
    Dispense us the potion of pain;
Ope thy mouth to its uttermost measure
    And bite us again!

Arthur Clement Hilton (1851–77), written at the Crystal Palace Aquarium.

Performativizing Papyrocentricity #33

Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:

Wattir an WirdsThe Strange Adventures of Mr Andrew Hawthorn & Other Stories, John Buchan (Penguin Books 2009)

Caveat LectorWill This Do? The First Fifty Years of Auberon Waugh, Auberon Waugh (Century 1991)


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Performativizing Papyrocentricity #12

Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:

Hawt’ in the ActWhatshisname: The Life and Death of Charles Hawtrey, Wes Butters (Tomahawk Press 2010)

Lez ReddThe Trials and Triumphs of Les Dawson, Louis Barfe (Atlantic Books 2012)

Fetch and CarryThe Surfrider, compiled by Jack Pollard (K.G. Murray 1963)


Bri’ on the SkyWonders of the Solar System, Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen (Collins 2010) (posted @ Overlord of the Über-Feral)

Playing on the NervesIn A Glass Darkly, Sheridan Le Fanu (@ O.o.t.Ü.-F.)


Or Read a Review at Random: RaRaR

Performativizing Papyrocentricity #9

Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:

Booty and the BeastsFor Your Eyes Only, Ian Fleming (1960)

Flowering on FumesCollecting Cigarette & Trade Cards, Gordon Howsden (New Cavendish Books, 1995)

Passion for PartsDear Popsy: Collected Postcards of a Private Schoolboy to His Father, E. Bishop-Potter, illustrated by Paul Cox (Penguin, 1985)

Yes, We Can ShitWhy Your Five-Year-Old Could Not Have Done That: Modern Art Explained, Susie Hodge (Thames and Hudson, 2012)


Or Read a Review at Random: RaRaR