Pierre Albert-Birot was one of the seminal figures of the modern movement in France. As editor of (one of) the earliest avant-garde reviews SIC, he published most of the futurists, the (future) Dadaists and Surrealists, and many others--and Grabinoulor made his first appearance in its pages.
Like his creator, Grabinoulor was only rediscovered in the last few decades. The book was perhaps neglected because its astonishing formal inventiveness is overwhelmed by an entirely joyous and undespairing outlook which was at total variance with the other literature of the time (1919).
"Grabinoulor is the happiest man in the world;" he is also very Parisian, all-powerful, childlike, satiric, eternally optimistic; his picaresque adventures happen to him in all times and in all places, he is rather forgetful . . .
Barbara Wright has triumphantly overcome the problems of translating a remarkable work that has been praised by authors as different as Apollinaire, Celine, Jacob, Queneau, and Sollers. [via]