GEORGE ADE (1866-1944) was an American humorist who wrote literature for daily newspapers, back when such a thing could be imagined. He wrote vividly about the middle of the country when it was up-and-coming, expectedly dowdy and unexpectedly modern — he stands right between Booth Tarkington and Ring Lardner. And Ade did more for capitalization than anybody since Swift. “Once upon a Time there was a slim Girl with a Forehead which was Shiny and Protuberant, like a Bartlett Pear.” Of his more than forty books the most famous were Fables in Slang and More Fables in Slang. The stories are fables in that smart-aleck morals are tacked on at the end; they are not in slang, exactly, but in the demotic of a century ago, when the American language began to dress for dinner. “Once there was a Bluff whose Long Suit was Glittering Generalities… When some one asked him if he was cutting up any Easy Money or would it be safe for a Man with a Watch to go to Sleep in the same Room with him, he would take a Drink of Water and begin to plead for Cuba.” He was poet laureate of the live ones, and a distant ancestor of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
HILO HERO ITEMS by LUC SANTE: Dashiell Hammett | Pancho Villa | James M. Cain | Georges Bataille | Jim Thompson | Joe Hill | Nestor Makhno | Hans Magnus Enzensberger | Captain Beefheart | William Burroughs | Ring Lardner | Lee “Scratch” Perry | Serge Gainsbourg | Kathy Acker | Arthur Cravan | Weegee | Alexander Trocchi | Ronnie Biggs | George Ade | Georges Darien | Zo d’Axa | Petrus Borel | Blaise Cendrars | Alexandre Jacob | Constance Rourke | Damia | J-P Manchette | Jean-Paul Clebert | Pierre Mac Orlan | Comte De Lautreamont | Robert Desnos | |
READ MORE about members of the Anarcho-Symbolist generation (1864-73).