While the name Aléc may not be familiar to the average international reader, it is a name that will be forever imprinted in French memories everywhere, even in the memories of future French people disguised as British, such as Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. The magnificent poetry Aléc left as his heritage has touched many hearts and opened many eyes since it was first published in 1878, and the following article is a short chronicle of, as well as tribute to, his life (written predominately in present tense.)
Aléc was born in Paris, France in January, 1850. During the first fifteen years of his life he would have seemed to most to be a remarkably normal French boy, having remarkably normal French interests such as urinating in public places and masturbating to pictures in medical journals. No one would have guessed during these adolescent years that Aléc would later grow up to be one of France's most notorious misanthropes and most excellent poets of all time.
It is on the exact day of Aléc's fifteenth birthday celebration the defining change occurs. As he celebrates the anniversary by debuting sexually with a 70 year old prostitute, his parents, a stupidly rich couple working as thrillseekers for the French army, are busy adventuring in the Algerian jungle. At approximately 7 o'clock, metric time, they fall victim to a tragedy that will forever warp the path of the young boy's life. This event is best described by one of his own early diary entries:
(After this, Aléc goes on for ten pages about how his new legal guardian, Uncle Christophe, is not his actual uncle by blood, should therefore not have the power to decide how many dishes of strange French cuisine Aléc should be allowed to have for dessert, and is probably gay.)
It is the death of his parents that marks the start of Aléc's life as an artistic person. Up until this point he is, as described by one of his teachers, "a refined young man with a healthy interest in sports, the consumption of red wine, and various important sciences, such as phrenology and racial hygienics." After his parents' passing, Aléc becomes introverted and estranged, no longer attending school, and devoting most of his time to his new hobby of taunting hookers by murdering them with surgical instruments. On his eighteenth birthday, he has his Uncle Christophe imprisoned for lacking any sense of charm, sells his father's house, and moves into an abandoned pigsty in the outskirts of Paris.
It is in this pigsty that Aléc does his most important work. His first accomplishment is the invention of the now-familiar French trademark facial expression pretentious-raise-of-one-eyebrow-while-simultaneously-sighing-and-applauding-in-a-sarcastic-manner. The invention is celebrated in the French artistic community, and though it pays nothing, Aléc has inherited more than enough money from his parents, and never has to worry about making ends meet. This grants him the possibility to devote himself completely to his art. In his early twenties, he makes many failed attempts at breaking into the world of modernistic poetry with works such as "Love poems written backwards", "Did you notice the fact that all my poems were written backwards in my previous submission? These are also written backwards", and "Why the fuck won't you publish my goddamn collection of poetry written backwards when this has obviously never been done before? This is the last time I'll bother sending you any of my backwards-written poems you evil cretins", as well as many others.
Although his name is at this time already known in certain circles of the Parisian cultural elite, due to the invention of aforementioned facial expression, Aléc's true breakthrough doesn't come until 1878. He has recently recieved his fifty-seventh refusal letter from the renowned French publisher L'art culinaire for his work "?won tuoba woH", and in an angry fit he burns the manuscript and violently scribbles down a few caricature drawings of the people he dislikes the most, just in order to have something visual to bite his thumb at as he tries to calm his temper. These doodles are to become the character gallery of a large series of picture poems, the first volume of which will be released later the same year. He gives this series the title "Une âme ordinaire". Aléc continues to work exclusively on his picture poems until he contracts an uncurable case of getting a splinter in the sole of his foot and dies in 1891. As is requested in his will, he is buried on top of the kitchen table in the house of an unexpecting family of four.
Une âme ordinaire is by a majority of Aléc's fans considered his most brilliant work (alternatively: his least completely asinine by a majority of his critics), but for political reasons it has never before been translated to any language, ever. We are therefore truly proud to finally be able to present the world with this first non-French printing (we use the term loosely) of the prophetic masterpiece, right here in the very cradle of modern art: The Information Front-to-Front Collision. In order for you to see exactly how brilliant this body of poetry is, our trusted German-English-French-but-mostly-German translator, Fritz van Drache Faustkampf, has applied to it an internationally recognized technique of literary criticism proven to illustrate the exact degree of excellence in any work of art. Behold the wonder that is the suspense curve (note that the coordinate system has arrows on its axises mainly because Fritz was flogged into a stain of blood by his math teacher whenever he forgot to add them and not because the system is actually of an infinite size.)
As you can see from this scientific diagram, "Une âme ordinaire" is extremely excellent, but not so excellent that you'll suddenly find yourself in an awkward position. This is known to scholars as perfection.
Poems will be added on a semi-regular basis, whenever Fritz gets them ready for publication, so please stop by semi-regularly and check for updates.
Enjoy (or you'll be on our list.)