Mid-2K13, I had completed a short book called ‘Le Petomane’, which inspired and led me to create a draft posting to share here. After a long series of distractions, here is what I had collected and put together on the worlds greatest Fartist.
Like the frog in the fable, Joseph Pujol huffed and puffed and “worked on himself” to be able to do his act. But the frog, whose fate was so troublesome, only inspired a simple fairy tale of fourteen verses. Le Petomane’s career was to give birth to a whole varied literature in which poets and pamphleteers, flattering praise and denigrating insults were all muffled up. How could it be otherwise? Did not the author of “The Frog who wished to become an Ox” – La Fontaine himself – warn the good Joseph Pujol: “Critics are a hard lot”? Le Petomane, like Homer, had his snarling critics. He consoled himself with the thought that no genius can escape the jealousy of the impotent censors of the times.
He tours in the provinces and is everywhere acclaimed, covered with flowers. His talent really gets the old girls. At Soissons he is always offered a ceremonial dish of beans. He enjoys being a celebrity – an industrialist has even marketed an irrigator bearing his name.
Pet-o-mane. An anal emission of gas.
In America today, we’d call it farting – and “Le Petomane” (Joseph Pujol) could fart like nobody else in the world – before, then or since! He could emit sounds tenderly or aggressively; make a noise like a rapidly firing machine gun or the slow, deep roar of a cannon. He could ring out like the voice of an opera singer or blare like a well-played trombone.
“Le Petomane” only farted in the best of places, and for considerable money. As star of the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris, he drew gates of 20,000 francs while Sarah Bernhardt only managed 8,000 francs. His audiences acclaimed him the greatest amuser of all time.
With extraordinary courage, and the virtuosity of his performance, “Le Petomane” imposed his unique art on a stupefied but defenseless Europe. How could an audience fail to like an artiste who could blow out a candle from the distance of a foot? How could anyone resist the impact of his musical derriere? And, he never suffered from stage fright!
Le Petomane is an incredible story. You won’t believe it – ’til you read it for yourself. – Jean Nohain and F. Caradec.