Like its author, Grabinoulor has been rediscovered only in the last few decades. Originally published in SIC in 1919 and praised by such writers as Apollinaire, Celine, Max Jacob, and Raymond Queneau, it did not appear in English until 1986.
Smart, joyous, playfully philosophical and completely without despair, the novel follows the character Grabinoulor—”the happiest man in the world”—a child-like, satyric, and comical Parisian as he visits other planets, travels through time, and finds poetry wherever he goes.
Pierre Albert-Birot (1876-1967) was born in Angoulême and moved to Paris at 18 for art school, where he became friends with Gustave Moreau. He wrote novels, plays, and poetry; he was also the director who premiered Guillaume Apollinaire’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, and in 1929 he founded his own theater, Le Plateau.