Strangest Book of the Week #2
He shocked and shattered the Moulin Rouge – and shocked even the broadminded Parisians!
What could this man POSSIBLY have done?! Late 19th century Parisians were known far and wide to be something of a tough crowd to please.
Joseph Pujol, known as Le Pétomane (and bearing a strange resemblance to Marcel Proust), was a flatulist — a professional farter. People found him so hilarious that even “the King of the Belgians thought it worth traveling to Paris incognito for a private demonstration”.
Le Pétomane 1857-1945
by Jean Nohain and F. Caradee, translated by Warren Tute, 1967
We’ve actually had this book in the office for a while, but if any book deserves being featured here, it’s this one.
And if you can believe it, I found a …silent… film clip of the man performing his act. Score one more for the all-knowing Wikipedia!
(NB: there is the possibility that this is only an actor portraying Le Petomane, but one way or the other I’d bet it’s an accurate depiction of his act. The best you’re gonna get, anyway! And if it is not actually the man, I bet they just found some orchestra conductor to replace him.)