T Y P O: Journal of Lettrism, Surrealist Semantics, & Constrained Design
Our second issue is packed with treats from around the world…
Principles of double-talk
Paul Éluard poetry
Italian eye candy
Curlicues in review
Generic Sheet Music
Jarry on the English language
Historical filler text translations
& much more
Pierre Albert-Birot; Guillaume Apollinaire; Mark Axelrod-Sokolov; Tom Barrett; Allan Bealy; Miggs Burroughs; Jahan Cader; Janina Ciezadlo; Norman Conquest; Farewell Debut; R J Dent; Karen Eliot; Paul Éluard; Paul Forristal; Ryan Forsythe; Jesse Glass; Rick Henry; Rhys Hughes; Rory Hughes; Alfred Jarry; Richard Koman; Márton Koppány; Amy Kurman; Peter F. Murphy; Pata-No UN LTD; Gaston de Pawlowski; Derek Pell; Harry Polkinhorn; Tom Prime; Jason E. Rolfe; Ded Rysel; Doug Skinner; Giovanni Antonio Tagliente; Félix Vallotton; Andrew C. Wenaus; Adolphe Willette; Carla Wilson;William Wordsworth.
Trade paperback; 152 pp., $14.95 ISBN 979-8-9869224-5-4
We’re pleased as punch to bring you the 14th volume in our Alphonse Allais Collection—Let’s Not Hit Each Other, the last of the master absurdist’s anthumous works. It features 58 tales, rife with wordplay and wicked humor. This collection has been skillfully translated by Doug Skinner and includes his introduction and illuminating notes on the text.
What are we to make of Let’s Not Hit Each Other? It includes a flying whale, an inflatable colonel, telepathic snails, a summer crime, the insularization of France, missionary parrots, an amphibious herring, twin cousins, and proposals for billboard dogs, deodorized urine, calming the sea with varnish, and crossing the English Channel with swings. You will also meet Mr. Fish, who travels with capsules of American air, presaging Duchamp’s “Paris Air” by decades.
This is the FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION of a remarkable volume. This edition includes an original portrait of the author by Corinne Taunay.
“One does not trifle with the humor of Allais.” —Jean-Pierre Delaune
We don’t like to play favorites and with a list of some 200 titles we can’t. But we thought you might like to know which titles have been the most popular. So here is a list of our Top Ten. All are in print, so if you missed one just click on its cover.
10 Oulipo Pornobongo (2016)
9 Le Scat Noir Encyclopedie et Dictionaire (2020)
8 Captain Cap, Alphonse Allais (2013)
7 Le Scat Noir Encyclopedia (2017)
6 Critics & My Talking Dog, Stefan Themerson (2019)
“A work exuding such inventiveness, playfulness, humor, and heart, it dazzles the imagination.” —Jeff Weisman, author of The Greatest Place on Earth
“A novella for our times, the author illuminates a world of uncertainty, misfortune, and absurdity with astonishing accuracy, simultaneously crafting a powerful and compelling story infused with hope and humor in his signature style.” —Adrienne Auvray
Apollo Camembert’s first novel, The Isolate, tells the tale of a man who has become so fed up with city life that he holes himself up in stealth housing to avoid all personal contact with the outside world. Unfortunately, the outside world has some nasty tricks up its sleeve.
We could say more, but that would risk giving too much away and we don’t want to spoil the fun. What we can reveal is that “Apollo Camembert” is the brainchild (and nom de plume) of Eckhard Gerdes who, after writing his gargantuan The Chronicles of Michel du Jabot, began composing shorter works, i.e., novellas and flash fictions, including two recent releases from Black Scat: Marco & Iarlaith and The Pissers’ Theatre.
We invite you to escape into Camembert’s quirky fictional world — a world you won’t soon forget.
THE ISOLATE a novel by Apollo Camembert paperback; 132 pp., $12.95 ISBN 979-8-9869224-6-1
Praise for Eckhard Gerdes’ THE CHRONICLES OF MICHEL DU JABOT
“Whatever you do, don ´t even look into Eckhard Gerdes’ book, The Chronicles of Michel du Jabot, because you’ll never get out of it again! If J. Joyce were to be reincarnated—and instead of writing in his inextricably reinvented and rather illegible (without the help of an East European multi-lingual scholar) Panglish, were to practice an altogether clear and charmingly grammatical English as here (admittedly with a scatter of soft linguistic implosions but few)—he would have written this book. It will take generations of English professors to sort it out. Hilarious semantic sport. And don’t expect me to tell you what it is about. I would have to give you a involuted idio-semantic analysis with innumerable brackets and labels, which wouldn’t help anyway. No, okay then, dare to tip-toe into the cavernous echoing brain-chamber of Gerdes’ The Chronicles and if you’re lucky you’ll come tumbling out into the dull everydaylight with a mad enlightened gleam in your eyes and will never read another novel. Yes, this- not Finnegans Wake—is the novel to end the novel.” —Alain Arias-Misson, author of Autobiography of a Character from Fiction
In this rare novella by the Marquis de Sade, a marriage is arranged between the aging Judge de Fontanis and a young woman, Mademoiselle de Téroze, who (unbeknownst to him) is in love with someone else. The young woman and her brother-in-law (the Marquis d’Olincourt) perpetrate a series of practical jokes, humiliating hoaxes and elaborate schemes in order to deceive the judge and stop him from consummating the marriage.
This amusing tale is an artfully-written and beautifully-structured literary attack on the judiciary, and one of Sade’s most savagely satirical texts.
A JUDGE DECEIVED Marquis de Sade Translated from the French by R J Dent Pocket Erotica #24 pp., 174; paper, $14.95
Two other humorous works by the Marquis de Sade are also available in the Pocket Erotica series.
Those familiar with Tom Whalen’s writing will have already skipped this sentence and jumped to the “buy now” button below. For those who have yet to experience his short fictions, you’re in for a treat.
In Tom Whalen’s Grand Equation ants make their way to the edge of the universe, an old doll rocks her nights away in the attic of an abandoned theater shop, “delivery trucks rumble up from the earth,” flies “feast off the flytrap of the sky,” a room falls in love with its inhabitant, and a man gives birth to a puppet. Populating the whole are troubled old men, grandmothers, a green man and priests, as well as dolls, mice, prose poets, and other fabular fauna. Drawn from Whalen’s work in the field over the past five decades, the sixty-seven prose poems and micro-fictions of The Grand Equation are comic, surreal, philosophical, disquieting and, as John Taylor commented in Michigan Quarterly Review on Whalen’s “Why I Hate the Prose Poem,” “particularly subtle.”
Reading Tom Whalen’s Grand Equation, I am reminded of my early years of writing prose poetry and reading the great masters of the form including Baudelaire, Jacob, Edson, Tate, and Simic. Like the great prose poets before him, Whalen’s work is startling, witty, surreal, and metaphysical. He uses the form to enchant and to entertain, to describe other worlds and offer new windows onto this one. His images, parables, and insights make the absurd seem ordinary and vice versa. And remind me that the world is not as I imagine it to be, and neither am I. This is a collection to ponder, savor and return to.
—NIN ANDREWS, author of The Last Orgasm
THE GRAND EQUATION Prose Poems and Micro-Fictions Tom Whalen $14.95 paperback ISBN 979-8-9859996-8-6
Tom Whalen’s short prose has appeared in Great American Prose Poems, Sudden Fiction, An Introduction to the Prose Poem, The Best of the Prose Poem, A Cast-Iron Aeroplane That Can Actually Fly, Unscheduled Departures, The Party Train and other anthologies. His two selections and translations of short prose by Robert Walser — Girfriends, Ghosts, and Other Stories and Little Snow Landscape — are published with NYRB Classics. His novel The Straw That Broke and collection April Fireball: Early Stories are both available from Black Scat.
It’s back to cool with the great French monologist, humorist, poet, and inventor—in a trenchant translation by Doug Skinner.
***FIRST PUBLICATION IN ENGLISH!***
Born in1842, Charles Cros was one of the most brilliant minds of his generation, equally adept at poetry, fiction, and scientific inquiry. He wrote smutty verses with Verlaine, synthesized gems with Alphonse Allais, contributed wild prose fantasies to Le Chat Noir, and experimented with color photography and sound recording, only to die young, poor, and alcoholic. Not incidentally, he also invented the comic monologue for the actor Coquelin Cadet. In these strikingly spontaneous and modern sketches, he introduces a gallery of fools and obsessives—The Clean Man, The Fencing Master, The Capitalist, The Friend of the Family—all nattering away, assaulting the audience with trivia, and blithely unaware of their own failings.
This edition collects all 22 of Cros’s monologues—masterfully translated & introduced by Doug Skinner—and includes performance notes by Coquelin, plus two biographical essays by his friend and colleague Alphonse Allais.
“The sheer playfulness of certain fanciful parts of Cros’s work must not let us forget that in the center of some of his finest poems, a revolver is aimed at us.”—André Breton
Nominata has gone missing, and her old friend Antonima is looking for her. Can the seven regulars in the Taproom help? Why are there strange lights and noises in the abandoned observatory? And what does the number 5040 have to do with all this?
Doug Skinner describes his novel as “an interactive verbal toy,” and Black Scat urges caution when handling it. On the surface, the text is playful, comic, and wayward. Further immersion, however, reveals elaborate constraints, cross references, and parallels, all creating an artificial world in which everything is a reflection of everything else, including itself. All that and slapstick too!