P L A Y T I M E

Cover boy: Raymond Queneau

BLACK SCAT REVIEW 23: Wordplay
Bask in the lilt & spew of vowels & consonants, the litter of letters lost & found, visual lipograms, puzzles, puns, and blazing wordplay from the KO Corral.

FEATURING: Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Kevin Brown, Norman Conquest, Brian Coughlan, John Crouse, S. C. Delaney, Paul Forrestal, Ryan Forsythe, Eckhard Gerdes, Penelope Gerdes, Joseph Harms, Amy Kurman, Opal Louis Nations, Angelo PastormerloSteve Patterson, Derek Pell, Agnès Potier, Raymond Queneau, Paul Rosheim, Gerard Sarnat, Doug Skinner, Michel Vachey, Carla M. Wilson, and D. Harlan Wilson.

SADE STRIKES AGAIN!

The merry Marquis de Sade is back with another witty chapbook in our Pocket Erotica series. The Self-Made Cuckold, translated from the French by RJ Dent, follows in the footsteps of the author’s Retaliation (Pocket Erotica #17), a similarly rare work sans the notorious content he is known for. Indeed, both titles contain no savage orgies nor flagellation. These little gems are —by comparison to The 120 Days of Sodom—libertine light and amusingly smutty. There are also strains of feminism running through both books.

For those who have never encountered de Sade, it should be pointed out that he was a gifted stylist whose sentences were exquisitely crafted. Here is how The Self-Made Cuckold begins:

One of the greatest deficiencies of ill-bred people is that they constantly utter a host of indiscretion, slanders or defamations on everyone that breathes, very often in the presence of people they do not really know. One cannot imagine the number of problems that this sort of idle chatter causes: what honest man can stand by and hear evil spoken about someone he cares for without reprimanding the fool who said it?

Indeed, who could ignore such an indignity, but that’s beside the point. The purpose of the quotation is to offer you an
hors d’oeuvre, the lilt and flow of the text.

We trust you’ll enjoy this humorous little feast.

The Self-Made Cuckold
Marquis de Sade
Translated by RJ Dent
Pocket Erotica No. 20
Paper; 60 pp., $10
ISBN 978-1737371199

THE PLAY’S THE THING

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.


 

 

 

Escapist Fiction

So begins this mesmerizing tale by a gifted young writer: Su Orwell. Her unique style, laced with edgy humor, makes ESCAPE ARTISTS a memorable work of contemporary  erotic fiction. It is the story of a married woman, Susann, who encounters the charismatic Arjan online. What begins as an internet flirtation soon evolves into an unusual affair — a fantasy escape becomes a reality of intense pleasure, taking Susann far from her suburban comfort zone.

Escape Artists
Su Orwell
Pocket Erotica #19
paper; 66 pp., $10
ISBN: 13 978-1-7379430-0-6


photo by Rob Gaczol

             

Su Orwell’s debut novel, Edge of Sundown, was published by Darkstroke Books in 2020. Her short prose and essays have appeared in Write City Magazine, Writing Disorder, Raconteur, and The New Urge Reader 4, among others. She lives in Chicago.

 

 


 

 

A TREAT FOR HALLOWEEN

There is a veritable army of zombie books out there but nothing remotely like this one. This obscure novel — THE ZOMBIE OF GREAT PERU — is a masterpiece of avant-garde weirdness — written by one Pierre-Corneille Blessebois, “the Casanova of the 17th century,” as an act of literary revenge. It is not simply vengeful, but it’s the first work in world literature to use the word “zombie” and stands as an early example of bizarre black humor. This outrageous relic—unearthed & translated from the French by the incomparable Doug Skinner—is the novel’s first appearance in English and features a preface by the great Guillaume Apollinaire.

 

The Lighter Side of Sade

Did the notorious author of Justine and The 120 Days of Sodom have a sense of humor? 

Indeed he did, and this short story shows a side of the author few have seen. Here is a witty, libertine tale, free of flagellation and sexual perversion. Instead, it reveals a husband’s adultery and a wife’s clever “retaliation.”  

This is a decidedly feminist text and it punctures the double standard still infecting relations between men and women.

Translated from the French by R J Dent.

Comte Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade

Customers in the UK can order the book here

A Dirty Story as You Like It

We’re pleased to present the 14th title in our Pocket Erotica series — a must-have edition for fans of Oulipo and innovative literature.

Oulipo’s interactive concept of “tree literature” was first implemented by Raymond Queneau in his short story “Un conte à votre façon” (A Story as You Like It). In this wickedly clever (and very funny) variation, Kim Vodicka follows in Queneau’s hallowed footsteps with a do-it-yourself text that’s guaranteed to satisfy all-comers.

In A Dirty Story as You Like It, the reader chooses from multiple plots, navigates the course to a satisfying climax, or changes direction whenever the urge strikes. Do all roads lead to ecstasy? Who knows, who cares, because getting there is half the fun.


A DIRTY STORY AS YOU LIKE IT
Kim Vodicka
Pocket Erotica #14
paperback; 40 pp.; $10
ISBN  978-1-73711-1-3


A B O U T T H E. A U T H O R

Kim Vodicka is the spokesbitch of a degeneration, “a softer-spoken, more genteel Lydia Lunch,” according to The Houston Press. She is the author of four full-length poetry collections—most recently, The Elvis Machine (CLASH Books, 2020) and Dear Ted (Really Serious Literature, forthcoming 2022). She is also the author of several chapbooks, including a poetic comic book, a 7” vinyl EP of sound poems, and a book of poetry illustrated by various artists local to Memphis. Additionally, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee and recipient of artist grants from PEN America, Poets & Writers, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and Authors League Fund. Her poems, prose, and visual art have been featured in The Thought Erotic, The New Urge Reader 4, SPREAD, Harbinger Asylum, Forbidden Futures, Best American Experimental Writing, and many others. For the past decade, she has toured the nation performing spoken word with rock’n’roll accompaniment in venues both illustrious and disreputable, including the legendary Sun Studio. Originally from South Louisiana, she lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her beloved cat, Lula.