Harold Jaffe‘s new collection, Strange Fruit & Other Plays, challenges the reader to confront an America awash in racism, hatred, and violence. With cunning precision, Jaffe employs 20th century icons of art, cinema, music, & literature, to illuminate the dark place we find ourselves in today.
Here are nine diverse and innovative one-act plays, featuring Billie Holiday & Lester Young; Antonin Artaud & Georges Bataille; Marilyn Monroe & Marlon Brando; Samuel Beckett; condemned prisoners in Texas making their final statement before execution; Israelis & Palestinians in life-or-death dialogue; Charles Manson unleashed; Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin & Jim Morrison burning it at both ends; & the potently satirical “Splish Splash,” exploring gender discord.
Harold Jaffe is the author of 30 novels, short fiction collections, essays, and plays. His recent books include Porn-anti-Porn and BRUT: Writings on Art & Artists. He is editor-in-chief of Fiction International.
“A harsh, hilarious, scurrilous, and scatological satire.”
—Ed Simon, JSTOR Daily
Poet John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, was considered one of the greatest English satirists — a nimble wit and scribbler of sublime wordplay, parodies & pornographic puns.
Hailed by Graham Greene and Ezra Pound, Wilmot is perhaps best known for his outrageous libertine satires, including this wickedly funny Restoration drama.
Originally titled The Farce of Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, DEBAUCH-O-RAMA is an absurdist “closet drama” – written to be read aloud and not performed. It consists of five acts in raunchy rhyming couplets and a madcap cast of characters:
- Bolloxinion – King of Sodom
- Cuntigratia – his Queen
- Pricket – young Prince
- Swivia – Princess
- Buggeranthos – General of the Army
- Pockenello – Prince and favourite of the King
- Borastus – Buggermaster-General
- Pene & Tooly – Pimps of Honour
- Officina – Maid of Honour
- Fuckadilla – Maid of Honour
- Cunticulla – Maid of Honour
- Clytoris – Maid of Honour
- Flux – Physician to the King
- Vertuso – Dildo- and Merkin-Maker for the Court
Let the curtain rise and the laughter begin!
A Restoration Closet Drama
by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
Pocket Erotica [№ 11 ]
65 pp.; paper, perfect bound; 4 x 6 inches; $10
Jason E. Rolfe‘s mesmerizing new chapbook, THE PUPPET-PLAY OF DOCTOR GALL, is a shadowy existential drama — an absurdist murder-mystery set in Vienna in 1820, with a cast of curious characters: Franz Joseph Gall, The Stranger, Ernst Sieber, Tomas Hocheder, Madam Denebecq, and Count Sedlnitzky.
Are they mere puppets whose every move is directed from above by Madam Denebecq, a self-titled mechanikus? Or are they all too human, performing their lives before our very eyes? And who, in the name of heaven, has stolen the head of Franz Joseph Haydn?
We had intended to reveal the answers to these questions but, alas, it’s too late. The lights have dimmed and the audience is holding its collective breath (if breathe they do).
Order your copy before the curtain rises.
No strings attached.
(photo by Karina Tarnawsky)
If you were in NYC on June 15th and missed the BLACK SCAT SUCKER PUNCH bout between high lit heavyweight champs Yuriy Tarnawsky (seated)) and Alain Arias-Mission —shame on you! You missed a bloody good reading.
The Emily Harvey Foundation. provided ringside seats, booze & noisemakers to an unruly crowd of fans. Tarnawsky threw wicked upper-cuts from his classic collection of “short shrift fictions,” CROCODILE SMILES, while Arias-Misson responded with a blazing left hook from his new novel THE DETECTIVE WHO DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE.
Alas, both titles are out of print.
These plays, plays by Axelrod, Mark, the other Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, his plays, are. And are the plays of Axelrod, no
t the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, and are the plays of Axelrod, Axelrodian. Yes, in all manner of speaking, speaking high or low, they are and you, the Reader, Reader of Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, should read these plays with relish. For without relish, they would not be as absurd.
Can Superman avoid deportation?
Will Van Gogh survive an IRS audit?
Does Donald Trump talk to himself?
Has the world gone mad?
This outrageous and timely collection confronts our contemporary nightmares with devastating wit and insight. In the provocative title play, Superman stands trial as an illegal alien. In “A Colloquy of Birds,” Axelrod takes aim at a flock of notorious Republican women — the “politically effete.” And just when you thought it was safe to applaud, experience the maniacal monologues of Chairman Trump.
Here are eight rousing absurdist dramas destined to be modern classics.
SUPERMAN IN AMERICA & OTHER ABSURD PLAYS
by Mark Axelrod
Trade paperback, 354 pp., $16
Balzac’s WAITING FOR GODEAU was just named #1 on Amazon’s New Releases in French Dramas & Plays. Congratulations to translator Mark Axelrod.
CLICK HERE to order a copy