1980 Serge Gainsbourg book "Evguénie Sokolov (Récit)"

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Serge Gainsbourg has always cherished quite some affection for scatological interests. When in 1973 he released his album VU DE L'EXTERIEUR, it contained the song "Des vents des pets des poums" (the winds the farts the pooms) in which he told: "Since two hours I'm farting in front of her door like a groom - She doesn't lack air, this one! / I will take her out for supper in a grill room / While waiting I make winds farts pooms" and "Listen, this one was well sent, it made voom / And that one bang, it made vroom". Besides the album contained more lyrics dealing with the region where the pooms come from - one being "Pamela Popo", and another one about his baby daughter, Charlotte (then at the age of 1), entitled "La poupée qui fait" (pipi caca). In 1979 Serge's first reggae album Aux armes et caetera included a short song, inspired by a writing that can be seen on many old houses in Paris: "Eau et gaz à tous les étages" (Water and gas at every floor).

Eventually in March 1980 Serge published his parabolic tale Evguénie Sokolov which tells the nauseous - and exhilarating - story of a painter suffering a painful disease: he farts nonstop, excessively, and compulsively - it makes his daily life impossible and pollutes the one of the others. While becoming an artist, a revelation occurrs: during one of his drawing sessions, a particularly violent outburst of gas forces his hand dramatically across the page. So impressed is he by the result that he decides to purposely execute drawings in this manner. So his frantic "infirmité gazogène" eventually makes him developing a worldwide acknowledged painting style. Unfortunately, Sokolov's gastric problems stop. This equivalent to writer's block send the artist into a heavy period of research in order to try to intentionally recreate his previous flatulence misfortune. Although successful with his efforts to regain his former glory, it eventually proved to be his undoing - the book is written from his hospital bed. "Indeed, through Serge Gainsbourg's pen, Evguénie Sokolov can be seen as an artist who helped to put the F back in art." [Chris Meloche, Wired for Sound Book review]

The critics didn't like the book too much, they thought Serge was making funny faces at them - and that's sure what he did. The same year he wrote the lyrics for an album by Jacques Dutronc, entitled GUERRE ET PETS (War and farts). But not enough with that, included on his second reggae album MAUVAIS NOUVELLES DES ETOILES (1981) was an instrumental track entitled "Evguénie Sokolov", celebrating the adorable noises he had described in his tale the year before. But wait, incidentally in spring 1983 Screamin' Jay Hawkins - outch! - was in Paris to re-record his gross "Constipation blues", the ultimate statement. Screamin' Jay and Serge appeared on TV performing the song live. This rare document can be viewed on the videobox Serge Gainsbourg, watch Screamin' Jay while he's got that pain inside! It's awful!

In 1998 the English translation of Gainsbourg's novel Evguénie Sokolov was for the first time published in the USA, by Tam Tam books. Says John Zorn: "Serge Gainsbourg is one of the world's great eccentrics. His kinky obsessions, smothering fashion with tastelessness have catapulted him into super stardom in France. This is his only novel and you have never read anything like it. Evguenie Sokolov will make you squirm. It will make you laugh. It also may very well make you sick. Gainsbourg's vision is his own: authentic and convulsive. But don't forget to hold your nose."

Publications

1980 Serge Gainsbourg book Evguénie Sokolov (Récit) country fr.gif Paris : Gallimard 110 p. ; 18 cm
ISBN 2-07-037643-5
1980 Serge Gainsbourg book Evguénie Sokolov country fr.gif Paris : NFP
1985 Serge Gainsbourg book country de.gif München : Popa
1987 Serge Gainsbourg book Die Kunst des Furzens (Das explosive Leben des Evguénie Sokolov) country de.gif München : Goldmann 63 S. : 18 cm
3-442-08662-0
1998 Serge Gainsbourg book Evguénie Sokolov (A parabolic tale) country us.gif Los Angeles : Tam Tam Books Translation by John and Doreen Weightman
84 p. ; 18 cm
ISBN 0-9662246-1-8

The English translation can be ordered at Amazon.com or directly at:

Small Press Distribution
1341 Seventh Street
Berkeley CA 94710-1409
USA
Tel. 800-869-7553
E-Mail: tosh -at- loop.com

Weblinks

Internet resources on Serge Gainsbourgs book Evguénie Sokolov

Now have some fun and go to some of the internet's funniest fart pages:

  • The Fart of the Day (Farts.com) - don't miss the WAV pool!
  • A page on fart lighting? You bet! - quote: "Fart lighting, as we all know, is the polite and entertaining way of not stinking up the room, with all the added bonus of letting one go."
  • Peido & Peidos, Lda. / Fart, Farts & Co. - a portuguese encyclopedic fart page (hint: "son" means sound) including an extensive links page
  • Famous Anus' Museum O' Farts
  • Joseph Pujol, the fartiste - The Frenchman Joseph Pujol (1857-1945), "le pétomane" (the fartiste), was the only man known to have made a living from farting. He used to perform some imitations, using the simple, honest format of announcing and then demonstrating. He displayed his wide sonic range with tenor, baritone, and bass fart sounds. He imitated the farts of a little girl, a mother-in-law, a bride on her wedding night (tiny), the same bride the day after (loud), and a mason (dry - "no cement"). He imitated thunder, cannons ("Gunners stand by your guns! Ready - fire!!"), and even the sound of a dressmaker tearing two yards of calico (a full 10-second rip). After the imitations, Le Petomane popped backstage to put one end of a yard-long rubber tube into his anus. He returned and smoked a cigarette from this tube, after which he used it to play a couple of tunes on a song flute. For his finale he removed the rubber tube, blew out some of the gas-jet footlights from a safe distance away, and then led the audience in a rousing sing-along.
  • Coprologist's Shacklet: The Disgusting Home Of Anal Gas Discharge - including the World-wide fart links and Jillian's fart diary
  • The Fartpage (Peter Zwarts)
  • The World Of Farts