June 1 Birthday: Joseph Pujol. FARTISTE

Joseph Pujol
June 1, 1857 – 1945

FARTISTE: AN EXPLOSIVELY FUNNY, MOSTLY TRUE STORY (by Simon and Schuster, 2008) by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov
From Publishers Weekly:

story: a boy discovers he has an unusual command over the muscles in his
intestines. With lots of practice and ambition, Joseph Pujol becomes
the Fartiste, the fin-de-siècle sensation of the legendary Moulin Rouge.
“A bit of Beethoven, a song by Mozart,” write Krull (the Lives of…
series) and Brewer (You Must Be Joking!) in their rhyming
quatrains, “A Debussy ditty-all through a fart.” (Respectful of their
audience’s curiosity, the authors also note, “his flatulent actions
completely lacked smell.”) Clearly tickled by the subject matter,
Kulikov (The Castle on Hester Street)
employs a brassy palette and broad, earthy expressions reminiscent of
vintage theatrical posters; he captures both Pujol’s consummate
showmanship and the joie de vivre of the gas-lit (no pun intended)
bohemian world that embraced him. As for the famous flatulence, even the
politest company will find its visual interpretation apropos: Kulikov
draws each breaking of wind as a cross between a Botticelli-esque cloud
and a comic-strip text balloon. The don’t-miss afterword discloses that
Pujol’s actual stage name was Le Petomane (the Fartomaniac) and that his
fans included-mais oui!-Sigmund Freud.