1st Edition

All Puns Intended The Verbal Creation of Jean-Pierre Brisset

By Walter Redfern Copyright 2001

    The 19th century in France spawned numerous 'fous litteraires, one of them being Jean-Pierre Brisset (1837-1919). An individualist among individualists, he dismantled the existing French tongue, reshaping it to suit his own grandiose purposes, which were to explain afresh the development of human beings (from frogs) and of their language (from croaks). Continuous and ubiquitous punning was a unique feature of his writing. In this study, Redfern examines such themes as the nature of literary madness, the phenomenon of deadpan humour, the role of analogy, and the place of institutional religion in Brisset's creative rewriting of the creation.

    Bare Bones; Proem; 1: The Motivating Force: Etymology; 2: Frogs on Frogs; 3: Creation Myths; 4: God and Company; 5: Language and Tongues; 6: The Sexual Imperative; 7: Methods in his Madness; 8: The Play of Language; 9: Varieties of Madness; 10: Seriously Funny; 11: Heading for the Last Round-Up; The Last Round-Up


    Walter Redfern