Alphonse Allais  

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Negroes Fighting in a Tunnel at Night (1882) by Paul Bilhaud, here shown in the 1887 version appropriated by Alphonse Allais as published in Album primo-avrilesque (April fool-ish Album)
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Negroes Fighting in a Tunnel at Night (1882) by Paul Bilhaud, here shown in the 1887 version appropriated by Alphonse Allais as published in Album primo-avrilesque (April fool-ish Album)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Alphonse Allais (20 October 1854 – 28 October 1905) was a French writer and humorist born in Honfleur, Calvados, but is perhaps best-known today for his set of monochrome images, the Album primo-avrilesque (April fool-ish Album).

He is the author of many collections of whimsical writings. A poet as much as a humorist, he in particular cultivated the verse form known as holorhyme, i.e. made up entirely of homophonous verses, where entire lines rhyme. For example:

par les bois du djinn où s'entasse de l'effroi,
parle et bois du gin ou cent tasses de lait froid.

Allais is also credited with the earliest known example of a completely silent musical composition. Composed in 1897, his Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man -- consisting of nine blank measures -- predates comparable works by John Cage and Erwin Schulhoff by a considerable margin.

Principal works

Monochromes

Album primo-avrilesque (April fool-ish Album), 1897

Other works




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alphonse Allais" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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