Time for Your Dose of Existential Humor

When Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachev steps in front of a trolleybus and is killed, he immediately regrets not looking both ways before crossing the street. It’s one of many deaths Daniil faces in these eighteen absurdist tales. From a mind that wanders too far at lunch, and a madcap chase through St. Petersburg, to a clock that stops time whenever it’s observed, these stories trace not only the lives and deaths of the hero, but the author’s impossible nostalgia for a time, a city and a writer he never knew. Filled with existential humor, this masterful collection explores the thinly-veiled boundary between sense and nonsense. 

“The Many Lives and Countless Deaths of Daniil Ivanovich is an absurdist gem in which Jason E. Rolfe channels the best essences of Gogol and Dosto evsky while authenticating his own unique voice. Uncanny, whimsical, and smart, these interstitial stories and vignettes reminded me that literature isn’t dead yet after all.” —D. Harlan Wilson, author of Outré and The Psychotic Dr. Schreber

“Whether you find this funny or frustrating, I would recommend a few sips of this book from day to day. Taken all at once, it can induce mental chaos, but taken one story at a time, it can promise wide smiles. Jason E. Rolfe might be the most specialized of specialist writers, but he deserves a wide, non-specialized readership.” —Mark Fuller Dillon, author of Ice and Autumn Glass


THE MANY LIVES AND COUNTLESS DEATHS OF DANIIL IVANOVICH
by Jason E. Rolfe
with a Postscript by Paul Rosheim
Trade paperback, 112 pp., $14
ISBN 978-1-7373711-2-0

Available on Amazon in North America, Europe, and Australia


Jason Rolfe writes fiction that is both darkly comic and comically absurd, often using humour to shed light on things he finds philosophically absurd. His publications include the novellas, The Puppet-Play of Doctor Gall (Black Scat Books, 2020) and An Archive of Human Nonsense (Snuggly Books, 2017), and the short story collection, Clocks (Black Scat Books, 2018). His short stories have recently appeared in the anthologies The Neo-Decadent Cookbook (Eibonvale Press, 2020), Bitter Distillations (Egaeus Press, 2021) and Uncertainties V (Swan River Press, 2021). Jason is a frequent contributor to Black Scat Review.

Also available from Black Scat Books:

ALLAIS’S CABARET — HOORAY!

It’s a rare event when we publish a work of nonfiction, but this book is dear to our hard-hearted heart. This extraordinary work of scholarship exposes the liveliest fin-de-siècle bohemian cabaret and journal in Paris.

Le Chat Noir was a playground for painters, writers, poets, pranksters, and musicians, all gleefully demolishing the standards of art and good taste. Caroline Crépiat examines such eccentric personalities as Paul Verlaine, Alphonse Allais, Marie Krysinska, Maurice Mac-Nab, and Charles Cros, and analyzes their treatment of money, women, translation, humor, sex, disease, and scatology, with generous samplings of the original texts. A masterful look at a rich and colorful legend of the avant-garde!

Le Chat Noir Exposed
Caroline Crépiat
Translated by Doug Skinner
trade paper, 182 pp.,
Illustrated; $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-7356159-6-7

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Crépiat‘s main area of research focuses on French fin-de-siècle periodicals, humor, and language. Her articles have been published widely in France. She co-edited Masks, bodies, languages — Figures in contemporary erotic poetry (Classiques Garnier Editions: 2017). She lives in Dijon with two chats noirs.

Scat has nine lives!

July 4th marks our 9th year of publishing. To celebrate the occasion we’ve released a special deluxe hardcover edition of our very first title, ALPHONSE ALLAIS’S MASKS — adapted and illustrated by Norman Conquest, with an introduction and notes on the text by Allaisian scholar Doug Skinner.

This revised, expanded edition features three additional chapters and over 60 color illustrations.

Join the celebration and order your copy of this collectable edition here.

ALPHONSE ALLAIS’S MASKS
Adapted & Illustrated
by Norman Conquest
With a Introduction & Notes on the Text
by Doug Skinner

DELUXE SPECIAL EDITION
hardcover; 6×9 inches; 82 pp., illustrated
ISBN 13 978-1-7357646-6-5 / $26


Yum-yum!
Another satisfied customer.

YIPPEE YI YO KI YAY!

“…one of his finest collections to date.” –Ceri Shaw 

BLAZING TALES OF COWPOKE LIT!

Rhys Hughes saddles up & blasts his way across the vast plains — kickin’ up trouble in this hog-wild collection of Western Weirdness. Using various forms (short stories, a play, lonesome poems — even a garsh-dang essay!), he roasts the genre & serves up some hearty, avant-garde grub — fresh as a dew-dappled Texas rose.

Guns, puns, cowgirrrls & tumbleweed — what more could ya ask for. CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY BEFORE SUNDOWN

“Rhys Hughes seems almost the sum of our planet’s literature. He’s as tricky as his own characters. He toys with convention. He makes the metaphysical political, the personal incredible and the comic hints at subtle pain.”
— MICHAEL MOORCOCK

“A dazzling disintegration of the reality principle. Raises the bar on profundity and sets a comic standard for the tragic limits of our human experience. Like Beckett on nitrous oxide. Like Kafka with a brighter sense of humour.” — A.A. ATTANASIO

“If Hughes ever stops writing fiction I will shoot him.” — JEFF VANDERMEER

“If I said he was a Welsh writer who writes as though he has gone to school with the best writing from all over the world, I wonder if my compliment would just sound provincial. Hughes’ style, with all that means, is among the most beautiful I’ve encountered in several years.”— SAMUEL R. DELANY

WEIRDLY OUT WEST
Rhys Hughes
Absurdist Texts & Documents (No. 42)
paperback; 141 pp., $14
ISBN 978-1-7357646-1-0


**Read Ceri Shaw’s rave review

DO THE MATH

FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION

The incomparable humorist is in his prime here, spinning out dark fantasies on cycling in Ancient Rome, the taste of tears, the economic advantages of germ warfare, God’s dislike of Christmas, and the proper chemicals for a chaperone’s chamberpot. The intrepid Captain Cap pitches his bizarre inventions over cocktails, and Allais sends back notes from his travels to North America and Southern France. At 65 stories, this collection is Allais’s largest—PLUS two extra stories by Allais and two by Octave Mirbeau, on the pressing issue of ambulatory vegetables.

We’re tickled and thrilled to bring you the 12th title in our Alphonse Allais Collection: 2 + 2 = 5 —translated, with an introduction and notes on the text, by the absurdly gifted Doug Skinner.

Alphonse is in his prime here, spinning out dark fantasies on cycling in Ancient Rome, the taste of tears, the economic advantages of germ warfare, God’s dislike of Christmas, and the proper chemicals for a chaperone’s chamberpot. The intrepid Captain Cap pitches his bizarre inventions over cocktails, and Allais sends back notes from his travels to North America and Southern France. At 65 stories, this collection is the humorist’s largest—PLUS two extra stories by Allais and two by Octave Mirbeau, on the pressing issue of ambulatory vegetables. What does it all add up to? . . . Hilarity!

2 + 2 = 5
Alphonse Allais
Translated from the French by Doug Skinner
Original cover painting by Lilianne Milgrom
Trade paperback; 289 pp., $14.95

Buy Now

CLICK ON YOUR FLAG TO ORDER OUTSIDE THE USA

About the Author
ALPHONSE ALLAIS (1854-1905) was a peerless French humorist, celebrated posthumously by the Surrealists for his elegant style and disturbing imagination. In addition to composing absurdist texts for newspapers such as Le Chat Noir and Le Journal, he experimented with holorhymes, invented conceptual art, and created the earliest known example of a silent musical composition: Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man (1884). Truly ahead of his time (as well as our own), Allais is needed now more than ever. His mischievous work remains fresh, funny, and always surprising.

Other books by Allais you’ll enjoy. . .

BRIGHT IDEAS

“…a magnificent work. Precise, absurdist, hilarious.”

—Rhys Hughes, author of The Smell of Telescopes

The 41st volume in our seminal Absurdist Texts & Documents series has arrived: PATENTS PENDING by Derek Pell and Doug Skinner, with an Afterword by Alphonse Allais. An illustrated compendium of ingenious inventions so ahead of their time they may never be available to the public – not in this world, nor the next. Discover pataphysical gizmos such as the OUIJA BILLBOARD, HELIUM BOMB, IMPOSSIBLE PICTURE FRAME, TROMPE L’OEIL MAGIC KIT, and many others. For now, these inspired concepts are but speculative prototypes – strange dreams haunting the drawing board of destiny – but thanks to this book you may study and savor them, and imagine a future far brighter than the present.

PATENTS PENDING
Derek Pell & Doug Skinner
with an Afterword by Alphonse Allais
Absurdist Texts & Documents No. 41
paperback; illustrated, 112 pp., $14
ISBN-13 : 978-1735615936