We’re pleased as punch to bring you the 14th volume in our Alphonse Allais Collection—Let’s Not Hit Each Other, the last of the master absurdist’s anthumous works. It features 58 tales, rife with wordplay and wicked humor. This collection has been skillfully translated by Doug Skinner and includes his introduction and illuminating notes on the text.
What are we to make of Let’s Not Hit Each Other? It includes a flying whale, an inflatable colonel, telepathic snails, a summer crime, the insularization of France, missionary parrots, an amphibious herring, twin cousins, and proposals for billboard dogs, deodorized urine, calming the sea with varnish, and crossing the English Channel with swings. You will also meet Mr. Fish, who travels with capsules of American air, presaging Duchamp’s “Paris Air” by decades.
This is the FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION of a remarkable volume. This edition includes an original portrait of the author by Corinne Taunay.
“One does not trifle with the humor of Allais.” —Jean-Pierre Delaune
“Louÿs’s jolly saga of sexual insatiability…is one of the handful of erotic works that achieve true literary status.” — Susan Sontag
“Among all Pierre Louÿs’s books, this is undoubtedly my favourite, the most moving, most uplifting and sometimes the most terrifying, the purest, the least artificial and the most modern. A masterpiece.” —André Pieyre de Mandiargues
“One of the most moving books ever written on the fatality of desires.” —Annie Le Brun
“Amazing! It’s pornographic, but high quality!” — Jean d’Ormesson
“Here is, without question, is Pierre Louÿs’ erotic masterpiece. The strength of the novel does not come from its eventual biographical value, but from the constant transgression that manifests itself within it—containing all the erotic themes dear to the writer, elevated to a singular power. We also find here the key qualities of Louÿs’ style: the liveliness of the dialogues, the precision of the language, the irony, the relentlessness with which certain obscene words are constantly repeated. This scandalous book constitutes a total profanation and derision of this bourgeois universe to which the author belonged.” —Jean-Paul Goujon
A young man receives an advanced education in the permutations of sex from a mother and her three—surprisingly well-educated—daughters. Part memoir, part confession, Her Three Daughters is Pierre Louÿs at his outrageously erotic best.
HER THREE DAUGHTERS Pierre Louÿs Translated from the French by R J Dent New Urge Editions paperback; 340 pp.; $15
We don’t like to play favorites and with a list of some 200 titles we can’t. But we thought you might like to know which titles have been the most popular. So here is a list of our Top Ten. All are in print, so if you missed one just click on its cover.
10 Oulipo Pornobongo (2016)
9 Le Scat Noir Encyclopedie et Dictionaire (2020)
8 Captain Cap, Alphonse Allais (2013)
7 Le Scat Noir Encyclopedia (2017)
6 Critics & My Talking Dog, Stefan Themerson (2019)
Paul Éluard’s Capital of Pain (Capitale de la douleur ) appeared in 1926 and established his reputation as the preeminent French surrealist poet.
Éluard’s surrealist vision is illuminated by a painter’s eye; his imagery includes light, surfaces, reflections, sunlight, mirrors, halos and radiance, although he deploys them to evoke suffering, despair and emptiness. Details of the poet’s personal life are found in this collection’s two-part central poem, “In the Flame of the Whip.” Each line crackles with irrepressible power – resembling the criss-cross lash marks left on human flesh by the whip.
Both sides of the mirror are exposed in Capital of Pain – the reflective surface and the tain on its reverse side. The mirror is, of course, Éluard himself, because, as the collection’s title suggests, it reveals the poet’s private anguish and personal agony.
Paul Éluard was a dedicated and devoted surrealist who championed the juxtaposition of distinct elements and the play of dualities which give surrealist poetry its profundity and vitality. As readers, we are fortunate he chose to expose the mysterious and hidden aspects of his life with lyrical brilliance.
“…it is gratifying to find a collection of Paul Éluard’s poetry translated into English by R. J. Dent, and published (with a glorious cover!) by Black Scat Books – one of the last publishers to keep the flag of Olympia, Éditions Jean-Jacques Pauvert and Grove Press flying, with new writing as well as classics of Surrealism, the Absurd, Dada, Erotica and ‘Pataphysics…. All in all, Dent, a poet and novelist in his own right, demonstrates clearly the truth of the old maxim, it takes a poet to translate a poet.” —Reese Saxment, Surrealerpool
“A work exuding such inventiveness, playfulness, humor, and heart, it dazzles the imagination.” —Jeff Weisman, author of The Greatest Place on Earth
“A novella for our times, the author illuminates a world of uncertainty, misfortune, and absurdity with astonishing accuracy, simultaneously crafting a powerful and compelling story infused with hope and humor in his signature style.” —Adrienne Auvray
Apollo Camembert’s first novel, The Isolate, tells the tale of a man who has become so fed up with city life that he holes himself up in stealth housing to avoid all personal contact with the outside world. Unfortunately, the outside world has some nasty tricks up its sleeve.
We could say more, but that would risk giving too much away and we don’t want to spoil the fun. What we can reveal is that “Apollo Camembert” is the brainchild (and nom de plume) of Eckhard Gerdes who, after writing his gargantuan The Chronicles of Michel du Jabot, began composing shorter works, i.e., novellas and flash fictions, including two recent releases from Black Scat: Marco & Iarlaith and The Pissers’ Theatre.
We invite you to escape into Camembert’s quirky fictional world — a world you won’t soon forget.
THE ISOLATE a novel by Apollo Camembert paperback; 132 pp., $12.95 ISBN 979-8-9869224-6-1
Praise for Eckhard Gerdes’ THE CHRONICLES OF MICHEL DU JABOT
“Whatever you do, don ´t even look into Eckhard Gerdes’ book, The Chronicles of Michel du Jabot, because you’ll never get out of it again! If J. Joyce were to be reincarnated—and instead of writing in his inextricably reinvented and rather illegible (without the help of an East European multi-lingual scholar) Panglish, were to practice an altogether clear and charmingly grammatical English as here (admittedly with a scatter of soft linguistic implosions but few)—he would have written this book. It will take generations of English professors to sort it out. Hilarious semantic sport. And don’t expect me to tell you what it is about. I would have to give you a involuted idio-semantic analysis with innumerable brackets and labels, which wouldn’t help anyway. No, okay then, dare to tip-toe into the cavernous echoing brain-chamber of Gerdes’ The Chronicles and if you’re lucky you’ll come tumbling out into the dull everydaylight with a mad enlightened gleam in your eyes and will never read another novel. Yes, this- not Finnegans Wake—is the novel to end the novel.” —Alain Arias-Misson, author of Autobiography of a Character from Fiction
In this rare novella by the Marquis de Sade, a marriage is arranged between the aging Judge de Fontanis and a young woman, Mademoiselle de Téroze, who (unbeknownst to him) is in love with someone else. The young woman and her brother-in-law (the Marquis d’Olincourt) perpetrate a series of practical jokes, humiliating hoaxes and elaborate schemes in order to deceive the judge and stop him from consummating the marriage.
This amusing tale is an artfully-written and beautifully-structured literary attack on the judiciary, and one of Sade’s most savagely satirical texts.
A JUDGE DECEIVED Marquis de Sade Translated from the French by R J Dent Pocket Erotica #24 pp., 174; paper, $14.95
Two other humorous works by the Marquis de Sade are also available in the Pocket Erotica series.
PRINT magazine’s Steven Heller says: “Just what I’ve been waiting for.”
De Villo Sloan in Asemic Front says: “TYPO is not another contribution to the wax museum of official culture. The editors interweave selections from what poet Ron Silliman calls the post-avant with the historic avant garde and esoteric visual-verbal examples from earlier centuries. Included are new iterations and genres in the continuum such as asemics, digital collage, neo-concrete and visual poetry as well as typographical innovations rooted in Lettrism. Accessible and highly enjoyable prose complements the flow of images.”
In this issue: Marc-Alain Barbot; Tom Barrett; Michael Betancourt; Isabelle B.L; Restif de la Bretonne; Mamie Caton; Norman Conquest; Caroline Crépiat; Art Dandy; farewell debut; Ange Degheest; Jean-Pierre Duffour; Luc Fierens; Jack Granath; Isidore Isou; Amy Kurman; Claude Nicolas Ledoux; Giambattista Palatino; Raymond Queneau; Reese Saxment; Karen Shaw; Doug Skinner; Corinne Taunay; John J. Trause; Tristan Tzara; Cal Wenby; and Femke van der Wijk.
6 x 9 inches; 148 pp.; paperback; $14.95 ISBN: 979-8-9869224-5-4
Typo: Journal of Lettrism, Surrealist Semantics, & Constrained Design is the first in a promised (irregular) series of anthologies devoted to oddities of typographic design history, extending from now to the 1400s, including mnemonic devices, “Forty-Five First Letters” (they’re real!), “Surrealist Sign Language,” asemic writing, and lots more from Doug Skinner, Norman Conquest, Raymond Queneau, Isadore Isou and other contributors. Visually fun to look at and filled with interesting historical factoids about printing. — i arrogantly recommend… by Tom Bowden, BOOK BEAT
TYPO in PRINT
TYPO hits the top of the charts on Amazon
“The first issue of TYPO … has arrived at an ideal moment in the evolution of avant garde and experimental art and writing. The monuments of the 20th century avant garde such as DaDa, Surrealism, Lettrism and Oulipo are enjoying healthy interest in the digital age, inspiring the creation of new genres.TYPO provides fresh insights and perspectives on these movements.
TYPO is not another contribution to the wax museum of official culture. The editors interweave selections from what poet Ron Silliman calls the post-avant with the historic avant garde and esoteric visual-verbal examples from earlier centuries. Included are new iterations and genres in the continuum such as asemics, digital collage, neo-concrete and visual poetry as well as typographical innovations rooted in Lettrism. Accessible and highly enjoyable prose complements the flow of images.”