Laughter & Cheer for the New Year!

A Cami Sampler

We proudly present a New Year’s treat—#9 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series: A CAMI SAMPLER, translated from the French by John Crombie in Paris. The collection includes 10 zany, Dadaesque microdramas by Pierre Henri Cami, plus nine pages of his rare drawings. This is the first collection of Cami’s mini plays to be published in the U.S.

From the introduction by John Crombie:

“Though blissfully ignored for most of his life by the
English-speaking public, Cami (Pierre Henri) remained
for four full decades one of France’s most prolific,
and acclaimed, comic authors. Hailed by his idol and
admirer Charlie Chaplin as ‘the greatest humorist in the
world,’ Cami was somewhat willfully omitted by André
Breton from his Anthologie de l’Humour Noir—no doubt
on account of his huge popular success—but admired
by other Surrealists. Between 1910, when he founded
Le Petit Corbillard Illustré, the ‘humorous organ of the
corporation of undertakers,’ and his death in 1958,
Cami published well over forty volumes of minidramas
and comic novels—notably The Memoirs of God-the-
Father, The Adventures of Loufock-Holmes, The Son of
the Three Musketeers, and the travels of his perhaps most
famous creation, Monsieur Rikiki and the Rikiki family—
as well as countless songs, strip cartoons, screenplays
and even operettas. Many of these he also illustrated.

But Cami was best known for his ‘dramatic fantasies,’
written mostly for La Vie Drôle, the humorous column
published weekly by Le Journal, where he had stepped,
somewhat belatedly, into the shoes of that column’s
immortal co-founder, Alphonse Allais. Self-styled
microdramas of everyday life, of legend, of history
(and even of geography), of true (and false) romance,
and more often than not of volupté, these screwball
skits look backward to the music hall and Alfred Jarry,
sideways to the Marx Brothers and forward to, in
England, the Goons and, in France, to the Theatre
of the Absurd.”

This edition is limited to 100 copies, so don’t miss out on the fun.

CLICK HERE to order

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