Originally released in a limited edition, this vastly expanded version of Black Scat’s Merde à La Belle Époque brings gastric laughter to all of America. This hilarious scatological anthology features verses, stories, songs, and playlets by some of Paris’s most inventive and eccentric comic writers of the period. It includes the exceedingly rare Le Journal des Merdeux — an illustrated broadside devoted entirely to merde. Indeed, upon its publication in 1882, The Little Shits’ Journal was seized by the police and banned. Merde!
This lovely, deodorized paperback edition, designed by Norman Conquest, has been exquisitely compiled, deftly translated, and introduced by Doug Skinner, and includes his erudite and witty notes on the texts.
Return to those raucous years of La Belle Époque when French “shiterature” scandalized Paris.
The Fourth of July is a noisy holiday, and this year it’s going to be even noisier, as it’s Black Scat’s 10th anniversary.Thus, it’s fitting that we’ve launched Luigi Russolo‘s Italian Futurist classic, THE ART OF NOISES, in a new translation by Doug Skinner. The book includes a seminal introduction by Skinner, as well as his copious notes on the translation. Originally released in Milan by Edizioni Futuriste di Poesia in 1916, this text was a sonic boom that awakened 20th-century avant-garde musical aesthetics and inspired generations of experimental composers.
In the words of Daniel Matei, it was THE ART OF NOISES that “elevated Russolo to the level of Marinetti and Boccioni.”
Artist Norman Conquest has designed our edition and crafted a near facsimile of the original Italian volume, while adding a few obstreperous flourishes of his own. We hope you’ll celebrate Scat’s ten years by ordering a copy of this gem — #44 in our legendary Absurdist Texts & Documents series.
Have a BLAST this summer and make some noise!
THE ART OF NOISES Luigi Russolo Translated from the Italian by Doug Skinner Absurdist Texts & Documents No. 44 —A Zang Tumb Tumb Edition— Paperback, illustrated; 134 pp., $15 ISBN: 979-8-9859996-2-4
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Luigi Russolo (1885-1947) was born into a musical family in Portogruaro, Italy. As a child, he studied violin and piano, but decided to switch to painting. When F. T. Marinetti launched Futurism in 1909, Russolo soon became one of its principal members. In 1913, he wrote a manifesto, “L’Arte dei rumori” (“The Art of Noises”), proclaiming a new music based on noises; he spent the next few years building instruments, giving concerts, and expanding his manifesto into a book. A war injury in 1917 slowed him down, but he continued painting and giving concerts throughout the ‘20s, as well as building several “noise harmoniums.” In the ‘30s he became interested in the occult, and wrote a long philosophical dialogue called Al di là della materia (Beyond Matter), arguing for a society based on spirituality. He died in 1947. Although his scores and instruments were lost in World War II, his ideas continue to fascinate and influence many musicians.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR Doug Skinner has translated many books from the French and Italian, including works by Alphonse Allais, Pierre-Corneille Blessebois, Caroline Crépiat, Charles Cros, Alfred Jarry, and Giovanni Battista Nazari. Black Scat has published several books of his fiction (Sleepytime Cemetery, The Snowman Three Doors Down), cartoons (The Unknown Adjective, Shorten the Classics), and music (The Doug Skinner Songbook). He has contributed to The Fortean Times, Strange Attractor Journal, Cabinet, Fate, Weirdo, Nickelodeon, Black Scat Review, and other fine periodicals. His musical activities include scores for dance (ODC-San Francisco, Margaret Jenkins), as well as several shows by actor/clown Bill Irwin, including The Regard of Flight, The Courtroom, and The Harlequin Studies; his albums That Regrettable Weekend and It All Went Pfft are available on Bandcamp.
THE BOOK WITH THE GREEN COVER. A collection of Norman Conquest‘s verbo-visual vices, including posters, charts, mock book & magazine covers, rectified readymades, typographic diversions, found novels, and other detritus. Illustrated with color plates and silverware.
Comic artist Doug Skinner aims his poisoned pen at 52 works of classic literature—from The Iliad to Ubu Roi—whittling them down to four cartoon panels. It’s a constraint worthy of Georges Perec — an OuBapoian*collection of black humor guaranteed to set funny bones on fire.
Shorten the Classics is brilliant — albeit abbreviated — fun. If you want to read the classics, but don’t have time, this book is for you.
Grab a copy before it’s too late!
Shorten the Classics Doug Skinner Absurdist Texts & Documents #43 paperback; 116 pp.; 5.06 x 7.81 inches; $14 ISBN 978-1-7373711-3-7
*Oubapo: Ouvroir de bande dessinée potentielle: ”workshop of potential comic book art”)
“…one of his finest collections to date.” –Ceri Shaw
BLAZING TALES OF COWPOKE LIT!
Rhys Hughessaddles 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.
“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
Never before in the annals of art forgery has there been a case like this.
TRUE CRIME: The People vs. Rrose Sélavy, compiled by Karl Waldmann, features unpublished transcripts, exhibits, color illustrations, and shocking new evidence. Fact and fiction are forged together in this seminal work of DADA excavation.
This is an expanded, “rectified readymade edition” of the original, out of print chapbook published in 2016.
TRUE CRIME: The People vs. Rrose Sélavy Rectified Readymade Edition Absurdist Texts & Documents #32 Color illustrations, 44 pages; $14
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
“Within this mix of emotional upheaval and splintered symbolism, Wood closes the chapbook with a particularly notable piece, one indicating his inclusion in both the literary underground and the LGBTQ community as well as the sorrowful reality of unsuccessful arts careers. It is dubbed “Howl” (page 25) and opens with a sharp, satiric awareness of Ginsberg:
I saw the best flicks of my generation destroyed/by critics/ranting hysterical mutants/ Dragging directors in drag through the mud like/blood-thirsty bullies
Here, Wood deems himself “the angel-headed genius in the orange neon dusk of Hollywood”, and observes his audience both laughing at and cheering him in the cinema before
They staggered off into the sunset strip/ Leapt off the Hollywood sign into the bliss of the curvaceous cult-womb/ That wrapped them forever in its loin-lit angoric embrace “