WHO ARE THE “VICE LEPERS”?
In 2012 we released a limited edition of Norman Conquest‘s metafictional highball (spiked with Oulipian ouzo)—Snowdrop in Africa. Now the intrepid Professor Snowdrop returns in a full-length novel guaranteed to thrill his cult followers.
When a mysterious woman appears on Professor Snowdrop’s doorstep after midnight with a lurid warning that European zombies have infiltrated the homeland, it sounds crazy—just crazy enough to be true! The professor soon finds himself in pursuit of a secret society comprised of dead mathematicians and renegade writers —self-proclaimed “Vice Lepers”—bent on subverting the American way of life via unconstrained wordplay.
Is it a Russian plot in the guise of French linguistics designed to spread chaos and pandemonium (or both)?
Is it an insidious probe by zombie trolls, or a full-scale invasion by Clinamen?
Whatever it is, it has already “gone viral” and may be too late to put an end to this death sentence…
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Watch for this extraordinary collection of works by the great Stefan Themerson who, with his wife, the artist Franciszka, founded the legendary Gaberbocchus Press (London, 1948-1979). A poet, publisher, novelist, filmmaker, composer and philosopher, Stefan Themerson was a giant force in the avant-garde of the 20th century. A magus, a magician, his books are filled with wisdom, absurd humor, and dazzling ideas. His unique vision is more relevant today than ever, and thanks to Paul Rosheim, Black Scat will be bringing you Critics and My Talking Dog: Selected Stories, Essays, Lectures & a Play.
As the force behind Obscure Publications, Rosheim (with the guidance of British art critic, and founder of the Themerson Archive Jasia Reichardt) published a number of limited edition chapbooks by Themerson. He is busy compiling this seminal introduction to Stefan’s texts. The book will also feature an introduction by noted art historian and artist Nick Wadley.
This is destined to be a Scat classic.
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The Pope’s Mustard-Maker (Le Moutardier du pape) was the last work that Alfred Jarry saw through the press, a few months before his death in 1907. It was one of many operettas he worked on in his last years, and one of the few he finished: a bawdy three-act farce loosely based on the medieval legend of Pope Joan, with a huge cast and lively songs bubbling with rhymes and wordplay.
Readers who know Jarry only from Ubu or his novels may be surprised that he wrote operettas, but his are fully Jarryesque, with his usual gusto for smutty jokes, legend, folklore, wordplay, wild invention, and popular theater. In his hands, Pope Joan becomes Jane, who runs off with her lover and disguises herself as pope. How will she pass inspection on the slotted chair? What will she do when her husband shows up? And has there ever been another production number celebrating the spiritual virtues of enemas?
This is the first translation of this major work; the translator, Doug Skinner, also provides an introduction and notes.