AVANT-GUARDIAN!

“Some naive lovers of semantics believe that if only our rulers, our saviours (of all sorts), could understand the meaning of their own pronouncements, they would amend their ways. What an illusion! They, the saviours, know the mechanism of Language much better than all the Semanticists, Linguistic philosophers, and Logical formalists put together. That’s how they know how to use it to play upon the prejudices of the mob: you and me.”

—Stefan Thermerson (from his essay “The Aim of Aims”)

Stefan Themerson (1910-1988) defied simple categories; he was a legendary European writer, publisher, philosopher, and filmmaker. Together with his wife, Franciszka, they founded Gaberbocchus Press, the gold standard for avant-garde literary presses. This collection, edited by Paul Rosheim,  gathers previously hard-to-find texts dealing with many of his principal concerns: ethics, semantics, conformity, misguided prejudice, and intuitive human decency. Also included are drawings by Franciszka, and an insightful introduction by art historian Nick Wadley.

PRAISE FOR STEFAN THEMERSON

“This writer is in the company of Carroll and Queneau, a master of controlled inconsequence…”  —Guardian

“What an extraordinary writer Stefan Themerson is.” —Punch

“Stefan Themerson has an absolutely elegant sense of humor.” —New York Times

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CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE INTRODUCTION BY NICK WADLEY

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

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Victorian Vice

We’re pleased to announce the publication of VICTORIAN VICE, a new anthology featuring excerpts from the Classics of Passion series. It includes selections from some of the Victorian era’s most notorious works,  such as the infamous underground journal The Pearl; Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s startling novel Venus in Furs; “The New Pleasure” by Pierre Louÿs; as well as anonymous texts that became scandalous  sensations.

Victorian scholar Lawrence Hamilton has compiled this connoisseur’s sampler of  literature’s “forbidden pleasures” — over two hundred pages of naughty nostalgia.

 

VICTORIAN VICE
Anthology of Forbidden Pleasures
Edited by Lawrence Hamilton
New Urge Editions
240 pp., trade paper
$14.95

Available worldwide on Amazon
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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!

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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.

 

Good Shit for Your Coffee Table

A deluxe ANTHOLOGY FOR THE AGES

FULL COLOR   PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED — OVER 100 PAGES OF SUBLIME ART & LITERATURE — LARGE PAPERBACK FORMAT 

Choice selections from the international monthly journal LE SCAT NOIR, where art & literature hit the fan. Good shit guaranteed!

Featuring:
Paulo Brito, Paul Kavanagh, Erik Satie, Samuele Bastianello, Alice Pulaski, Pink Buddha, Doug Skinner, Yuriy Tarnawsky, Jason E. Rolfe, Eckhard Gerdes, Harold Jaffe, Tom Whalen, Darlene Altschul, Madalina Tantareanu, Sheila Pell, Samantha Memi, Opal Louis Nations, Alphonse Allais, Francisque Sarcey, Carla M. Wilson, Terri Lloyd, Mercie Pedro e Silva, Georges Hugnet, Norman Conquest, Paul Rosheim, Carol White, Michael Leigh, Nile Southern, Mantis Man, Tom Bussmann, Edward Lear, Mark Axelrod, Adao Iturrusgaral, Jim Johnson, Rick Krieger, Pippa Anais Gaubert, Rebecka Skog, Frank Pulaski, Jim McMenamin, Gail Schneider, Franciszka Themerson,  Raymond Queneau, Georges Perec, Italo Calvino, Tom La Farge, Theodore Carter, Nick Frost, Farewell Debut, Quixote, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Allan Bealy, Angela Pankosky, Brett Stout, Uwe Taubert, Iacyr Anderson Freitas, Desiree Jung, Andy Koopmans, Jim Meirose,  Russell Helms, Peter Payack, Adrienne Auvray, Gelett Burgess, and Eugene Ivanov.

8.25″ x 10.75″
Perfect-bound
Deluxe trade paper edition
114 pages
$29.99

This special edition is available direct from the printer. CLICK HERE to order this lavish collector’s edition.

LET THERE BE LAUGHTER!

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.

 

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Toons of Gay Paree!

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 

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“The Impressionable Model” by Henricus.

from 101 CARTOONS FROM LE CHAT NOIR

Available Worldwide on Amazon

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