A flatulist, fartist, professional farter or simply farter is an entertainer often associated with flatulence-related humor, whose routine consists solely or primarily of passing gas in a creative, musical, or amusing manner.[1]

Le Pétomane was a professional flatulist around the start of the 20th century in France.

History edit

There are a number of scattered references to ancient and medieval flatulists, who could produce various rhythms and pitches with their intestinal wind. Saint Augustine in City of God (De Civitate Dei) (14.24) mentions some performers who did have "such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at will, so as to produce the effect of singing." Juan Luis Vives, in his 1522 commentary to Augustine's work, testifies to having himself witnessed such a feat,[citation needed] a remark referenced by Michel de Montaigne in an essay.[which?]

The professional farters of medieval Ireland were called braigetoír. They are listed together with other performers and musicians in the 12th century Tech Midchúarda, a diagram of the banqueting hall of Tara. As entertainers, these braigetoír ranked at the lower end of a scale headed by bards, fili, and harpers.[2][3]

An entry in the 13th-century English Liber Feodorum or Book of Fees lists one Roland the Farter, who held Hemingstone manor in the county of Suffolk, for which he was obliged to perform "Unum saltum et siffletum et unum bombulum" (one jump and whistle and one fart) annually at the court of King Henry II every Christmas. The Activa Vita character in the 14th century allegorical poem Piers Plowman appears to number farting among the abilities desirable in a good entertainer,[4] saying: "As for me, I can neither drum nor trumpet, nor tell jokes, nor fart amusingly at parties, nor play the harp."

In Japan, during the Edo period, flatulists were known as "heppiri otoko" (放屁男), lit. "farting men."[5] The term He-gassen (屁合戦), "farting competitions", is applied to Edo-period art scrolls depicting flatulence.[citation needed]

Notable flatulists edit

See also edit

References edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Brown, Garrick H.S. "Le Pétomane: The Strange Life of a "Fartiste"".
  2. ^ Collinson, Francis M. (1975). The bagpipe: the history of a musical instrument. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0-7100-7913-3.
  3. ^ Fletcher, Alan John (2001). Drama and the performing arts in pre-Cromwellian Ireland: a repertory of sources and documents from the earliest times until c. 1642. Boydell & Brewer. p. 468. ISBN 0-85991-573-5.
  4. ^ Peter Meredith (January 1998). "The professional travelling players of the fifteenth century: myth or reality?". European Medieval Drama. 2: 21–34. doi:10.1484/J.EMD.2.300900. ISSN 1378-2274. Wikidata Q120746236. Archived 2012-07-14 at archive.today
  5. ^ "放屁男". Nihon Kokugo Daijiten (日本国語大辞典). Shogakukan.

Further reading edit

  • Valerie J. Allen; Broken Air Exemplaria (2004). ([1] PDF version)
  • Jim Dawson; Who Cut the Cheese?: A Cultural History of the Fart (Ten Speed Press, 1999)
  • Steve Bryant; The Art Of The Fart
  • G. Ramsey; A Breath of Fresh Air: Rectal Music in Gaelic Ireland in Archaeology Ireland Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 22–23 (2002)