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

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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



A SPECIAL ISSUE — NOW AVAILABLE!

#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.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

 

“Who is fresh? Allais!”—Paul Verlaine

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 

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY

Add this to your book collection

In the Wings, Some Special Things For Spring & Beyond

from LE SCAT NOIR BEDSIDE NONSENSE

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 TarnawskyTom 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.

from LE SCAT NOIR BEDSIDE NONSENSE

In case you missed it…

…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.

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.