FIRST PUBLICATION IN ENGLISH

The Pope’s Mustard-Maker (Le Moutardier du pape) was the last work that Alfred Jarry finished, a few months before his death in 1907. It is 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, puns, 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?

A sublime translation from the French by Doug Skinner.

Click to order this avant-garde masterpiece

 

Alfred Jarry Lives!…Encore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pope’s Mustard-Maker (Le Moutardier du pape) was the last work that Alfred Jarry finished, a few months before his death in 1907. It is 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, puns, 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; it also includes an introduction and notes by the translator, Doug Skinner.

All hail The Pope’s Mustard-Maker!

THE POPE’S MUSTARD-MAKER
by Alfred Jarry
Translated from the French by Doug Skinner
Absurdist Texts & Documents #37
135 pp., paper, $12.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

In the wings…some peculiar things

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.

 



By the author of The Book with the Green Cover, smells like teen ‘pataphysics features signs of the phenomenon, oscillating pyramids, and  luminous vapors. This unexpurgated edition is illustrated with ubu-dystopian charts,  unpublished diagrams, newly discovered schemata, and rare illuminated photographs.  Also included  are Norman Conquest‘s groundbreaking philosophical experiments—triumphs as well as failures— which will inspire  aspiring  illuminati here and abroad.

 

Green is the New Black

Have you seen The Book With the Green Cover?

It’s a collection of verbo-visual treats by Norman Conquest. It features posters, charts, mock book & magazine covers, rectified readymades, typographic diversions, found novels, and other detritus. It’s profusely illustrated with color plates and silverware.

Available now, just in time for summer. Be the first kid on the block to take this coffee table chapbook to the beach!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY

 

This Side Upside-Down!

“Charles Cros was a being miraculously gifted in every way, a strangely personal and charming poet, a true scientist, a disconcerting fantasist.” —Alphonse Allais

Charles Cros and Émile Goudeau were quintessential Bohemian poets of the 1880s. Cros also experimented with the phonograph and color photography; Goudeau founded the Hydropathes, who met to declaim poetry while not drinking water. Cros and Goudeau’s only collaboration was a series of five exuberant stories published in 1880, which satirized such hot topics as divorce and capital punishment with bawdy humor and wild flights of fancy. All five stories are included here, plus four solo stories by Cros that complete the series, translated and annotated by Doug Skinner.

“Émile Goudeau was a fine man, and he had a lot of talent, an original talent as flavorsome as wine.” —Maurice Donnay

“Amiable smuttiness.” —Émile Zola

These dense and nutty gems will surprise you!

CLICK HERE to order UPSIDE-DOWN STORIES — the 35th title in our seminal Absurdist Texts & Documents series.

 

Take DaDa Wherever You Go!

New Kindle Edition!

We’ve just released an eBook edition of the DADA classic WHAT A LIFE! Now you can take DADA wherever you go.

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 (a travel writer) and George Morrow (an illustrator and regular contributor to PUNCH), produced their satirical autobiography using illustrations cut from the pages of Whiteley’s General Catalogue. This inspired act of artistic vandalism was a precursor to many works of avant-garde art and satire. CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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

 

Sublime Chaps

MASKS
Alphonse Allais
translated from the French and illustrated by Norman Conquest
with an introduction and notes on the text by Doug Skinner
Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 1
Illustrated in full color; 50 pp., $12.50
CLICK HERE to order

REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS
Norman Conquest

with an introduction by Robert Wexelblatt
Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 27
Illustrated; 70 pp., $12
CLICK HERE to order

 

The Three Faces of Masks

3masks

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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