“Why, That’s Patently Absurd!”

Yes, indeed—Pas de Bile!—another  patently absurd volume in Black Scat’s seminal Alphonse Allais Collection.

This will be the book’s first publication in English, with a sublime and inspired translation by the great Doug Skinner. In addition to the complete text of the original Flammarion edition, published in France in 1893, it will include  several uncollected stories by Allais. There will also be Skinner’s  copious notes on each text, and an informative and entertaining introduction. Throw in this eye-catching cover by Norman Conquest and you’ve got an edition worthy of display in your home or office.

Publication: Late Summer, 2018

And while you’re waiting, be sure to read Alphonse Allais’s LONG LIVE LIFE!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALPHONSE ALLAIS (1854 – 1905) began his career in Paris during the Belle Epoque. He was particularly active at the legendary cabaret Le Chat Noir, where he wrote for and edited the weekly paper. He quickly became known for his deadpan wit and inexhaustible imagination. Among other things, he also exhibited some of the first monochromatic pictures (such as his all-white “First Communion of Chlorotic Girls in the Snow” in 1883) and composed the first silent piece of music: “Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man” (1884). Throughout most of his life, he contributed columns several times a week to Le Journal and Le Sourire. These pieces were collected into twelve volumes, which he called his “Anthumous Works,” between 1892 and 1902. He also published a collection of his monochromes, Album Primo-Avrilesque, in 1897, and a novel, L’affaire Blaireau, in 1899, as well as a few plays. His later years were troubled by debt, a bad marriage, and heavy drinking; he died at 59. He was a crucial influence on Alfred Jarry, as well as on the Surrealists: Breton included him in his Anthology of Black Humor, and Duchamp was reading him on the day he died. Allais’s fascination with wordplay, puns, and holorhymes led Oulipo to call him an “anticipatory plagiarist”; the Pataphysical College dubbed him their “Patacessor.” His books have remained in print in France, and the Académie Alphonse Allais has awarded a literary prize in his honor since 1954.

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Just in time for spring…

24 tales of twisted wit, black humor, & TANGLED PLOTS by the author of SLEEPYTIME CEMETERY. Skinner’s fiction constitutes a curious genre all its own. In HIS NEW collection, THE SNOWMAN THREE DOORS DOWN, you’ll discover a vision that may startle and confound, but is guaranteed to entertain.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

or

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY — CLICK AND DOWNLOAD A FREE SAMPLE

 

Sucker Punch Gala in NYC

(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.

Fortunately all is not lost, as both books are available on Amazon and just a click away.

 

 

Monsieur Godeau, party of one, your table is waiting…

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“It is upon this one comedy that Balzac can lay any claims as a dramatic artist.”
—The New York Times

If you missed the limited edition published in 2013, the wait is over. Mark Axelrod’s translation of this obscure comedy by Balzac is now available worldwide on Amazon in a handsome paperback edition.

Originally presented under the title Mercadet or The Good Businessman, this play in three acts appears to have inspired the creation of the unseen character in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Indeed, 102 years before Godot ‘s debut, Mercadet opened at the Theatre du Gymnase-Dramatique in Paris and—curiously enough—featured a character named “Godeau” who never appears on stage.

A comic coincidence? One of life’s little absurdities?

The translator met and corresponded with Beckett, and in WAITING FOR GODEAU we present an unpublished letter from Beckett in which the burning question is answered.

Or is it?

You be the judge.

WAITING FOR GODEAU
by Honore de Balzac
Translated from the French by Mark Axelrod
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
trade paperback; 154 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692738108
$12.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

Right ho! Let the games begin and the plot thicken!

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We can’t think of a better way to kick off the summer than with  the launch of this delightful comic novel by the great P. G. Wodehouse.  Originally published in America in 1919, A Damsel in Distress is vintage Wodehouse—a whimsical romance filled with amusing twists and turns and a cast of memorable characters. The novel was adapted into a Hollywood musical starring Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, George Burns, and Gracie Allen.

This handsome Black Scat trade paperback edition features original illustrations by artist Allen Forrest.

We invite you to stretch out in the hammock with a chilled cocktail and this unforgettable farce.

A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
by P.G. Wodehouse
with illustrations by Allen Forrest

$14.95
Trade paperback; 334 pages
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
ISBN-13: 978-0692724491

* * *

pg2Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881 – 1975) was one of the most popular humorists of the twentieth century. The author of nearly 100 books, he is best known as the creator of the Bertie Wooster and Jeeves series and the novels and stories set at Blandings Castle. In the words of Evelyn Waugh, “Mr. Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.” Indeed, in the wondrous land of Wodehouse a faux pas often constitutes a crisis and the farce of human foibles rules the realm. The master’s intricately designed plots are peppered with potholes for his characters to stumble over, the street signs have all been mischievously switched and identities mistaken – yet all roads lead to a happy end.

In the wings for Spring…

Good Scat is coming your way…

front cover3

On April Fools, discover an inspirational coffee table art book guaranteed to make your head spin. WHEN I GROW UP and Other Mantras features full color posters by L.A. artist Terri Lloyd — offering satirical guidance for these troubled times. Lloyd’s iconic “Pink Buddha” arrives on this planet just in time for our salvation. Miss it at your own risk.


 

sleepy-promo

In this new collection of short stories by the author of THE DOUG SKINNER DOSSIER, you’ll discover a world of ostensibly human specimens behaving in peculiar and unpredictable ways. However, they are often recognizable in a manner we dare not admit. Skinner’s dark humor is deceptively playful and childlike, and that makes our bursts of laughter all the more disturbing. These “funny” tales are guaranteed to disconcert and astonish.  SLEEPYTIME CEMETERY: 40 Stories will be available April 11th.

Last Minute Scatastic Gifts

Here’s our last-minute shoppers guide. There’s still time to order some sublime Scat before it’s too late. Here are our recommendations by category.

Experimental fiction:
COMIC BOOK: A NOVEL
by Alain Arias-Misson
ORDER

***

Ancient Zombie Smut:
THE ZOMBIE OF GREAT PERU
by Pierre-Corneille Blessebois
ORDER

***

Theatre of the Absurd:
VAHAZAR
by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
ORDER

***
Imaginary Interviews with Artists:
IMPOSSIBLE CONVERSATIONS
by Carla M. Wilson
ORDER

***
Farcical Fiction:
THE BLAIREAU AFFAIR
by Alphonse Allais
ORDER

***

Absurdist Humor:
THE DOUG SKINNER DOSSIER
by Doug Skinner
ORDER

***

Literary Humor / Sports
DANTE’S FOIL & OTHER SPORTING TALES
by Mark Axelrod
ORDER

***

Off-beat First Novel
SWEET AND VICIOUS
by Suzanne Burns
ORDER

***

Absurdist Short Stories
AN INCONVENIENT CORPSE
by Jason E. Rolfe
ORDER

***

Photography
AN EROTICS OF SEEING
by Doug Rice
ORDER

***

Film Noir / Film Studies / Absurdism
REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS
by Norman Conquest
ORDER

***

Contemporary Erotic Fiction:
THE NEW URGE READER 2: EROTIC FICTION BY NEW WOMEN WRITERS ORDER

***
Victorian Erotic Fiction
HIDDEN GEMS: THE BEST OF THE PEARL
Anonymous
ORDER

***
Reference / Humor
GUSTAVE’S POCKET DICTIONARY
by Richard Kostelanetz
ORDER

***

Short Stories
CROCODILE SMILES
by Yuriy Tarnawsky
ORDER  

Theatre of the Absurd—Opening Night!

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“Witkiewicz takes up and continues the vein of dream and grotesque fantasy exemplified by the late Strindberg or by Wedekind; his ideas are closely paralleled by those of the surrealists and Antonin Artaud which culminated in the masterpieces of the dramatists of the absurd—Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Arrabal—of the late nineteen forties and the nineteen fifties.” -Martin Esslin

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz  (pen name: Witkacy) was desperate to get out of revolutionary St. Petersburg after the Bolsheviks seized power. Back in Poland, eager to make money and a name for himself, Witkacy began to write plays in a style that he called “Pure Form,” which foreshadowed the Theatre of the Absurd. By the time that he wrote VAHAZAR (1921), Witkacy had achieved a dreamlike dramaturgy:  centered on the paranoid and crazed despot, Vahazar, and spiraling outwards through an anthill society of automatons, religious cults, and quack scientific and social theories, this play is about being trapped in nothingness.

This translation of the play by Celina Wieniewska was commissioned by Stefan Themerson in 1967, and later announced as a forthcoming title by the legendary Gaberbocchus Press. Somehow the project was sidetracked and has never appeared until this Black Scat Books publication. Paul Rosheim, publisher of Obscure Publications and scholar of Themersonia, provides a sublime introduction with biographical information about Witkacy and the story of this translation. The book also includes an appendix featuring Franciszka Themerson’s “Vahazar: A Few Suggestions for Design.”

“…Witkiewicz, Bruno Schulz and myself, the three musketeers of the Polish avant-garde.” —Witold Gombrowicz

Available now on Amazon in the U.S. and Europe.

Click here to order this masterpiece of the absurd.

 

 

 

In the wings, some special things (eighth edition)…

WINGS

On the 4th of July, Black Scat Books celebrated three years of publishing. In that short span of time we’ve released nearly 100 titles, which may make us seem bigger than we are. We’re still a small, independent press that barely scrapes by each month. Word of mouth is very important to us as that’s how most of our readers discover us, i.e., a friend whispers in their ear. We invite you to pass the good word along. And if you aren’t following this blog, please enter your email address on this page and subscribe— that way you’ll always know what’s waiting in the wings.

Remember, good lit happens here.