-- First paperback edition.-- Formally inventive and utterly joyous, Grabinoulor recounts the fantastic adventures of its light-hearted, satyric, eponymous hero as he visits other planets, time travels, and finds poetry everywhere he goes.-- Grabinoulor has been praised highly by authors as diverse as Apollinaire, Celine, and Queneau.-- Albert-Birot founded and edited one-- First paperback edition.-- Formally inventive and utterly joyous, Grabinoulor recounts the fantastic adventures of its light-hearted, satyric, eponymous hero as he visits other planets, time travels, and finds poetry everywhere he goes.-- Grabinoulor has been praised highly by authors as diverse as Apollinaire, Celine, and Queneau.-- Albert-Birot founded and edited one of the first avant-garde book reviews, SIC, which published the futurists, the Dadaists, and the Surrealists. Grabinoulor was first published in its pages.-- First U.S. edition by Dalkey Archive ('87)....
|Title||:||The First Book of Grabinoulor (French Literature Series)|
|Number of Pages||:||98 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The First Book of Grabinoulor (French Literature Series) Reviews
This is a mere excerpt of a lifelong work from an influential Surrealist: if a Surrealist can be called influential and not raisin custard splash-splash booger-doop-doop-waa-waa-pants. Grabinoulor expanded into a six-book cheese mangle, and it’s easy to see why only the first book has been translated. A high modernist relic, sans punctuation, time-space-plot, and sans most things one might expect in a novel, except words, it has some of those. Dalkey don’t usually publish typographically inventive books: this is the one aberration in their canon. If they did, I would be up them like a silver ferret to reprint B.S. Johnson’s Travelling People, and they would be sorry they ever published Daniel Robberechts instead. So this: about as tolerable as a Surrealist text gets, and as the OuLiPo said, the Surrealists were always “intellectually puny.”
Spastic and freewheeling and inventive and as often amusing as somewhat irritating, this entirely unpunctuated novel (before French translation of Ulysses, mind) set a certain bar for the avant-garde novel in 1921). A has been noted by others, this has been frequently imitated, but is mostly the original of its line. Nowadys, it has its moments of sheer glee and ridiculousness (exploding ghosts! travels in space and time! life without gender!) but really now it's probably most effective as a sheer statement of the boundless possibilities of art in the universe. Totally random reading by grabbing things out of piles has lead to unexpected convergences: Hans Richter's recollections of Dada merging with this bizarre effervescent effulgence of dada-era avant-garde writing, all bleeding forward into Vollmann's accounts of the disasters of 20th century history after WWI, which spills into attempts to render, in Hungarian post-modern lit and Czech realist film (and some 1930s Czech surrealism to bridge the gap), the dire fallout of the second world war in Eastern Europe. But as I said, this is world war one-era and explodes with glee against all that was happening at the time, and all that would follow, even as it foresees the typography that would emerge so much darker in Maurice Roche's postwar hands.
The only thing I am sure about this book is that it deserves the 5 stars. I had prepared myself to struggle thru the reading of it but it proved to be a breeze. It was wonderful, I felt that I was in the mind of Grabinoulor and I understood him, I could relate, that may be scary. To have been written with punctuation would have ruined the effect of this books flow. We do not punctuate our private thoughts.
The First Book of GrabinoulorEpic by Pierre Albert-BirotTranslated from the French by Barbara Wright First published 1921English translation, 1986Dalkey Archive Press, 2000 The fact that this book is almost totally forgotten seems to me indicative of the low esteem in which joy is held in this world. Nearly a hundred years ago, Albert-Birot was the publisher of SIC, an avant-garde review which published every famous name in Dada. When “Grabinoulor” appeared, it was praised by Apollinaire, Celine, Max Jacob and Raymond Queneau. I had never heard of it, despite reading fairly deeply in writing of the period. I found it by chance, lying in the stacks of a Galway book shop. Marvelous good fortune!Grabinoulor is a mad picaresque tale, in 26 parts, one of them verse, with zero punctuation, about being young, omnipotent and exceptionally horny. Written at the end of World War I, the narrator begins with an appreciation of his vigorous morning boner and proceeds at once to reshape Paris and the globe. I’m telling you, there’s nothing like this book -- which also means I’m rather helpless to describe it. If you’ve read Henri Michaux, think of the tales of Plume -- but now imagine that the protagonist, instead of being thwarted and trodden upon at every turn is instead repeatedly victorious.What sort of book is this? This is a book where the protagonist advises his grieving widowed friend to telephone Venus and ask her to send a Great Love at once and she agrees, calls up Venus right up. Venus, too, agrees and asks for specifics (dark haired and well-equipped, please), and poof! Great Love appears at once. Everything is going swimmingly until the widow’s dead husband calls up from Heaven, where phones have recently been installed. Does this give you an idea? Or: in Chapter 19 of this book “a lobster mayonnaise starts the world going again.” Time and space are more playthings than obstacles and Grabinoulor usually gets the girl. It’s so much fun, engaging and readable, despite the atrocious typeface. Put on your reading glasses and surrender to happiness. Intended to liberate the soul, Grabinoulor still does the job, nearly a century later.Reading Grabinoulor, I was surprised that it doesn’t have a cult following -- at least not in English. What a brilliant source text for painters, poets, song writers, animators, and film makers -- to say nothing of libertines and sensualists. When you’re fed up with despair, when you’ve had all the ennui you can bear, seek out the hero Grabinoulor. He’s spectacularly horny and out for a lark across the universe.
You already know this book. You've read imitations, or imitations of imitations, or imitations of inspirations, or flippant condescension of the very idea (in hindsight, of course), or the modern results of this old idea -modernism- in its varying degrees of mostly unsuccessful forms. This book is weird, funny, oddly pretty, 90 years old and absolutely new.
Modernist/surrealist French literature with the requisite unpunctuated paragraphs. (Once you get the hang of this particular staple of modernist fiction, it's pretty easy to read.) Whimsical and pleasant, but no great shakes.
A fun if, however, pompous exercise in a novel as a concept, or a lack thereof. In any case, it's better writing than its weirdness and "inventiveness" would suggest. Salvador Dali in text?