Books: French Without Tears

THE BEST CARTOONS FROM FRANCE (120 pp.) — Collected by Edna Bennett —Simon & Schuster ($2.95).

THE TATTOOED SAILOR (115 pp.)—André François—Knopf ($2.95).

French humor prides itself on its elegantly turned irony (Anatole France) and the clean bite of its wit (Voltaire, Molière), but it also has a more modern and less celebrated side: what Parisian slang calls loufoque—zany. The practitioners of this form of Gallic humor consist of a small army of chansonniers, moviemakers, Left Bank beachcombers and cartoonists. The cartoonists have now formed an avant-garde to invade the U.S. cartoon market. Some are funny enough to get through, but...

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