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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WHALEN’S EARLY STORIES

APRIL FIREBALL features nine early short stories by master fictioneer Tom Whalen. These texts were published between 1972 and 1996, and are previously uncollected. This must-have edition is framed by two stories that reflect the times and wars going on when they were written: “The Ride” (1970, Vietnam); “April Fireball” (1994, the Balkans).

April Fireball marks Whalen’s third title in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series.

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Tom Whalen’s books include Elongated Figures, Dolls, Winter Coat, The President in Her Towers, and The Straw That Broke. His translations of short prose by Robert Walser can be found in Selected Stories, Girlfriends, Ghosts, and Other Stories, and the forthcoming Little Snow Landscape and Other Stories.


 

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

A special issue, featuring Mark Axelrod, Angela Buck, Peter CherchesCatherine D’Avis, Farewell Debut, Eckhard Gerdes, Bob Heman, Charles Holdefer, Rhys Hughes, Esteban Isnardi, Harold Jaffe, Alexander Krivitskiy, Olchar E. Lindsann, Joel Lipman, Laura Mazzenga, Jim McMenamin, Peter McAdam, Doug Rice, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim, Doug Skinner,Gregory Wallace, and Tom Whalen.

PLUS works in translation by
ALFRED JARRY, CHARLES CROS, THEOPHILE GAUTIER, JULES JOUY, PAUL VERLAINE, and LAURENT TAILHADE.

Sublime art & literature guaranteed.

BLACK SCAT REVIEW #18
edited by Norman Conquest
122 pp., trade paperback, $20
Available worldwide on Amazon

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON USA

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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In the wings…some peculiar things

Watch for this extraordinary collection of works by the great Stefan Themerson who, with his wife, the artist Franciszka, founded the legendary Gaberbocchus Press  (London, 1948-1979). A poet, publisher, novelist, filmmaker, composer and philosopher, Stefan Themerson was a giant force in the avant-garde of the 20th century. A magus, a magician, his books are filled with wisdom, absurd humor, and dazzling ideas. His  unique vision is more relevant today than ever, and thanks to Paul Rosheim, Black Scat will be bringing you Critics and My Talking Dog: Selected Stories, Essays, Lectures & a Play.   

As the force behind Obscure Publications, Rosheim (with the guidance of British art critic, and founder of the Themerson Archive Jasia Reichardt) published a number of  limited edition chapbooks by Themerson. He is busy  compiling this seminal introduction to Stefan’s texts. The book will also  feature an introduction by noted art historian and artist Nick Wadley.

 



By the author of The Book with the Green Cover, smells like teen ‘pataphysics features signs of the phenomenon, oscillating pyramids, and  luminous vapors. This unexpurgated edition is illustrated with ubu-dystopian charts,  unpublished diagrams, newly discovered schemata, and rare illuminated photographs.  Also included  are Norman Conquest‘s groundbreaking philosophical experiments—triumphs as well as failures— which will inspire  aspiring  illuminati here and abroad.

 

In the wings some special things…

Here at Black Scat we never sleep. As everyone heads off on vacation, you’ll find us huddled around our Macs, bringing  sublime art and literature to print.  There’s plenty of excitement ahead and we’re thrilled to announce these forthcoming releases.

Watch for a collection of works by the great Stefan Themerson who, with his wife, the artist Franciszka, founded the legendary Gaberbocchus Press  (London, 1948-1979).

A poet, publisher, novelist, filmmaker, composer and philosopher, Stefan Themerson was a giant force in the avant-garde of the 20th century. A magus, a magician, his books are filled with wisdom, absurd humor, and dazzling ideas. His  unique vision is more relevant today than ever, and thanks to Paul Rosheim, Black Scat will be bringing you Critics and My Talking Dog: Selected Stories, Essays, Lectures & a Play.   

As the force behind Obscure Publications, Rosheim (with the guidance of British art critic, and founder of the Themerson Archive Jasia Reichardt) published a number of  limited edition chapbooks by Themerson. He is busy  compiling this seminal introduction to Stefan’s texts. The book will also  feature an introduction by noted art historian and artist Nick Wadley.

This is destined to be a Scat classic.

* * *

drawing by Doug Skinner

Doug Skinner‘s delightfully absurd musical instruments appeared each month in the pages of our journal, Le Scat Noir. The artist has now rounded up all these drawings (along with previously unpublished specimens) for his forthcoming collection Instrumentarium. Even if you’re  tone deaf,  this book will have you humming along, clicking your fingers, tapping your feet and laughing out loud.

While you’re waiting, check out Skinner’s hilarious collection of comics, The Unknown Adjective and Other Stories. Originally published in 2014, it continues to be one of our most popular titles. But don’t take our word for it,  look at these raves:

”Witty and ingenious comics from the exceptionally-talented writer, musician, performer, ventriloquist, and cartoonist Doug Skinner. It’s exciting to finally have these little-seen strips available in one beautiful book. You may be reminded of Voltaire or Ernie Bushmiller while reading these meticulously drawn stories featuring utterly hapless characters, but Mr. Skinner has a style all his own.”R. Sikoryak

“Mr. Skinner knows many terrible, terrible secrets about us. We are once again fortunate that he chooses to share them so deftly and so altruistically.”Mark Newgarden

You can grab a copy on Amazon at this LINK.

Stay tuned for more details on these sublime Scat titles. We also have a few surprises in store, so be sure to subscribe to this blog in the right-hand column here and you won’t miss a gem.

drawing by Doug Skinner

Happy Summer!

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
CLICK HERE to order

 

 

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.