LET THERE BE LAUGHTER!

Just in time for the holidays, THE ALPHONSE ALLAIS READER has arrived!

Drawn from Black Scat’s eight editions of the master French absurdist, this compendium is a sublime introduction to the wordplay and black humor that shocked and dazzled Bohemian Paris in the raucous “Banquet Years.” The READER includes the celebrated pataphysical text “A Thoroughly Parisian Drama”—a favorite of both André Breton and the Oulipians—as well as stories, plays, an excerpt from his only novel, and the classic exploits of Captain Cap and Francisque Sarcey. The translator, Doug Skinner, has added copious notes and an illuminating introduction.

Step into the funhouse! Laughs and surprises await!

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Toons of Gay Paree!

Looking for laughter? Your prayers have been answered.

LE CHAT NOIR was one of the liveliest avant-garde papers in 19th century Paris. Published by the legendary cabaret, it delivered a weekly blast of anarchism, pranks, Decadent poetry, and black humor by such luminaries as Alphonse Allais, Charles Cros, and Paul Verlaine. It was also famous for its cartoons. Here are 101 of them: the poetic fantasies of Adolphe Willette, the slapstick animals of Théophile Steinlen, the military sketches of Caran d’Ache, the bawdy gags of Döes and Fernand Fau, and much more. With an introduction, translations, and notes by Doug Skinner.

101 CARTOONS FROM LE CHAT NOIR
Early Comics from Bohemian Paris
Compiled & Translated by Doug Skinner
124 pp., large trade  paper edition; $14.95 

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“The Impressionable Model” by Henricus.

from 101 CARTOONS FROM LE CHAT NOIR

Available Worldwide on Amazon

THE CROS FLIES!

CHARLES CROS: COLLECTED MONOLOGUES

It’s back to cool with the great French monologist,  humorist, poet, and inventor—in a trenchant translation by Doug Skinner.

***FIRST PUBLICATION IN ENGLISH!***

Born in1842, Charles Cros was one of the most brilliant minds of his generation, equally adept at poetry, fiction, and scientific inquiry. He wrote smutty verses with Verlaine, synthesized gems with Alphonse Allais, contributed wild prose fantasies to Le Chat Noir, and experimented with color photography and sound recording, only to die young, poor, and alcoholic. Not incidentally, he also invented the comic monologue for the actor Coquelin Cadet. In these strikingly spontaneous and modern sketches, he introduces a gallery of fools and obsessives—The Clean Man, The Fencing Master, The Capitalist, The Friend of the Family—all nattering away, assaulting the audience with trivia, and blithely unaware of their own failings.

This edition collects all 22 of Cros’s monologues—masterfully translated & introduced by Doug Skinner—and includes performance notes by Coquelin, plus two biographical essays by his friend and colleague Alphonse Allais.

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“The sheer playfulness of certain fanciful parts of Cros’s work must not let us forget that in the center of some of his finest poems, a revolver is aimed at us.”—André Breton

Are we bilious? Don’t be sillious!

No bile here. Make that, NO BILE!  is here!—Alphonse Allais‘s sublime collection of absurdist texts in a new translationfirst publication in English!by the great Doug Skinner.

Alphonse Allais’s third collection finds him in full anti-bilious form: love stories, revenge stories, monologues, short-shorts, and animal stories—all affronting the reader with startlingly modern absurdity, black humor, and wordplay.

“No Oulipian could fail to be enchanted by his essentially ironic tales, in which he juggles the rhetorical and narrative components of writing with rigorous logic and inexhaustibly zany results.”Harry Mathews

Among the highlights are “Absinthes,” an internal monologue about the Green Fairy; “Poor Césarine,” a tale of obsessive love; and “A Good Society,” which proposes collecting used matches for the poor. As a bonus, six uncollected stories are included. PLUS illustrations and informative notes on the text by Doug Skinner.

So don’t be bilious, grab your copy now on Amazon. Start your summer off with blasts of laughter!

drawing by Doug Skinner

Discover all the titles in Black Scat’s ALPHONSE ALLAIS COLLECTION

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Walk the Walk and Watch Your Step

Originally published by Black Scat  on January 16, 2013, this innovative collection of short stories by Alain Arias-Misson remains a popular title on our backlist. We’ve  given the book a fresh cover design by Norman Conquest.and trust it will attract new readers in search of sublime literature. Copies are available at a discount on Amazon and you can order it here.

Guaranteed to put a spring in your step!

DADA LIVES AGAIN!

On August 17 1911—seven years before Max Ernst took up scissors and paste to create his early Dada  art—WHAT A LIFE! was published in London by Methuen & Co. The authors, Edward Verrall Lucas (humorist & travel writer) and George Morrow ( illustrator and regular contributor to Punch), produced their satirical pictorial autobiography using illustrations cut from the pages of Whiteley’s General Catalogue. This inspired act of vandalism was a precursor to many works of avant-garde collage art and satire.

Long out of print in the U.S., Black Scat is proud to  bring this proto-Dada classic  back to life as #34 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series.

WHAT A LIFE ! was  exhibited at MoMA’s 1936 “Fantastic Art, Dada, and Surrealism” show.


WHAT A LIFE! seems to have made little impression, either in England or in France, even though it has the remarkable distinction of being illustrated solely by collages drawn from the catalogue of a large department store in London (Whiteley’s), and therefore of being—as much by the images as by the text that they comment on—one of the first manifestations of that spirit we call “modern.” Raymond Queneau, Bâtons, chiffres et lettres (1950)


What a Life!
E. V. Lucas & George Morrow

Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 34
Perfect-bound,  illustrated; 134 pages
$12
click here to grab a copy on Amazon

 

FILM NOIR REDUX

“The bible of Film Noir studies” is back in print!

This second edition of Norman Conquest‘s classic REAR WINDOWS features digitally enhanced scenes from fifty Film Noir masterpieces as you’ve never seen them before. It’s a must-have reference for thrill-seeking aficionados, students of cinema, and collectors of offbeat artists’ books. Spanning the golden age of Noir (1941-1962), it includes over 50 rare photographic stills from memorable hard-boiled motion pictures, such as The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, Kiss Me Deadly, and many more. Includes an illuminating introduction by Robert Wexelblatt, Professor of Humanities, Boston University.

PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION (2014)

“…the most truthful book on Noir that’s out there.”Tosh Berman, Tam Tam Books

“I’ve just been (re)reading Rancière on the mis-en-scene revolution in theatre at the end of C19th. Here Norman Conquest goes literally beyond the mis-en-scene and adds in a Wagnerian negation of the star system. Erase glamour! Bring forward the scene makers.“—Stefan Szczelkun

“This is conceptual art at its finest. Ingenious in its simplicity, startling, absurd, and very funny.” —
Alec  Burroughs

“Evocative… I like the various physical/psychological angles with which [Conquest] approaches  the stills, each of which is elegantly if sometimes surprisingly effected.” —Harold Jaffe


No. 27 in our acclaimed Absurdist Texts & Documents Series, REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS by Norman Conquest is available worldwide on Amazon.

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The Three Faces of Masks

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Black Scat launched its first book on July 4th, 2012. MASKS by Alphonse Allais was #1 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents  series of limited edition chapbooks. The original volume (above left)—adapted, translated and illustrated by artist Norman Conquest—was  limited to only 50 copies. It sold  out quickly and is a prized collector’s item today.

In 2015, we issued a revised and expanded edition (center) featuring an introduction and notes on the text by Allaisian scholar Doug Skinner.

The first two editions had limited distribution and were only available directly from the printer.  Today we’re launching a third edition of this mischievous pataphysical tale — available on Amazon in North America and Europe.

If you missed this little gem, CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.

View our complete Alphonse Allais Collection

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