#20 — THE BLACK HUMOR ISSUE
FEATURING AN INTERNATIONAL CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Alphonse Allais, Mark Axelrod, Jocelyne Geneviève Barque, Tom Barrett, Léon Bloy, Ken Brown, Michael Casey, Wayne Coe, Norman Conquest, Thomas James Cooper, Farewell Debut, S. C. Delaney, Rhys Hughes, Harold Jaffe, David Kuhnlein, Mantis, Marcel Mariën, J. H. Matthews, M. G. Mclaughlin, Jim Meirose, Derek Pell, Agnès Potier, Mark Putzi, Richard Robinson, Marquis de Sade, John Galbraith Simmons, Doug Skinner, Nile Southern, Terry Southern, Yuriy Tarnawsky, Michel Vachey, Tom Whalen, Bill Wolak.
Summer reading, fresh as a sea breeze and multicolored, too. Yes, there are only two colors, but what lovely colors they are. Besides, this is no time to nitpick when a new collection by Alphonse Allais —France’s greatest humorist—awaits you. Translated to perfection by the great Doug Skinner, this edition is packed with 44 odd and hilarious texts by the master absurdist—plus 5 extra stories culled from the pages of Le Journal. That’s over 260 pages! — guaranteed to keep you laughing all summer long.
PINK AND APPLE-GREEN is a colorful addition to Allais’s “anthumous works.”
FIRST english TRANSLATION — AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE ON AMAZON
Add this to your book collection
As we hunker down in our shelter here in Northern California, we remain busily preparing books to help you endure these terrible times. Alas, the crunch has hit everyone and small, independent bookstores and presses are struggling to stay alive. Please consider ordering a title or two from our list here. You can also donate to Black Scat via this direct PayPal link which will help us to keep bringing out titles such as the forthcoming works below. Thanks for your support.
“The only book in the English language to rival Tolstoy.”—George Steiner
We recently released two collections of provocative literary essays by British author John Cowper Powys: Powys on Books and Sensations and Visions Visions Visions. This fall, we’re publishing the first volume—(over 450 pages!)—of Powys’s extraordinary two-volume novel, Wolf Solent (1929). Eccentric and mystical, this literary masterpiece was hailed by Henry Miller as “utterly bewitching.” V. S. Pritchett called it “…a stupendous and rather glorious book… beautiful and strange as an electric storm.” Margaret Drabble said:“Powys’s work is full of paradoxes and surprises.” We’re proud to present this trio of titles in handsome uniform trade paper editions designed by artist Norman Conquest.
Nonsense in all its merry Infestations… from euphonic poesy to madcap cacophony
Coming in June, Le Scat Noir Bedside Nonsense is just what the doctor ordered for quarantined readers—a heady dose of innovative silliness and offbeat amusements. Edited by Norman Conquest, the anthology is #39 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series—packed with art & texts by Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Ken Brown, Caroline Crépiat, Haley Dahl, Ryan Forsythe, Paul Forristal, Penelope Goddard, Simon Hanes, Rhys Hughes, Alexei Kalinchuk, KKUURRTT, Rick Krieger, David Moscovich, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Terry Southern, Yuriy Tarnawsky, Tom Whalen, Carla M. Wilson, and other characters.
A CLASSIC OF EROTIC LITERATURE IN A SPANKING NEW TRANSLATION
Thérèse Finds Happiness by the Marquis d’Argens is the 18th century precursor to the 1967 French novel Emmanuelle. This libertine classic’s potent erotic episodes are interspersed with discourses on a philosophy of pleasure contrasted with pervasive religious hypocrisy. The novel is noteworthy for its antipathy to the sexual repression of women during “The Age of Enlightenment.” It also happens to be extraordinarily humorous.
Richard Robinson has produced an exquisite new translation of Thérèse philosophe for the contemporary reader. Thérèse Finds Happiness will be available later this year under our New Urge imprint.
Also forthcoming from New Urge Editions: contemporary novels by Jessy Reine and Tom Bussmann. Watch this space for other surprises.
…now’s the time for a dose of Alphonse Allais.
MASKS is quintessential Allais — a pataphysical text admired by the Surrealists (André Breton included it in his seminal Anthologie de l’humour noir). It was celebrated by the French group Oulipo, and has been the subject of scholarly studies by the writer and semiotician Umberto Eco, Francis Corblin, and others. Originally published in France under the title “Un drame bien parisien,” this Black Scat chapbook third edition has been adapted and illustrated by artist Norman Conquest, and includes an introduction and notes on the text by Allaisian scholar Doug Skinner. CLICK HERE to order on Amazon.
Stay home and read it in good health.
“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!
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!
CLICK HERE to order on Amazon.
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
“The Impressionable Model” by Henricus.
Available Worldwide on Amazon