So begins Temenuga Trifonova‘s provocative novel TOURIST, which tells the story of Jack Sturrett, a book reviewer for a London literary magazine. Dissatisfied with his job, he makes an impulsive decision to leave the city without informing anyone of his departure. He boards a bus which takes him to a small town up north where he gets a job as a tourist guide after becoming so widely read in the town”s history that he passes for a local. Outside work he maintains the identity of a tourist, living in hotels and constantly reinventing his back-story. As his fake local persona becomes threateningly real, he finds himself a suspect in a murder investigation.
This is one novel you dare not miss.
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.
Ten Cinematic Riffs
by Carla M. Wilson
with an introduction by
James R. Hugunin
c o m i n g s o o n
Looking ahead (no pun intended) to April, it’s going to be a Scatastic month. Back in 2013, we issued a little limited edition chapbook titled HOW I BECAME AN IDIOT by Francisque Sarcey. It was actually written by the brilliant French humorist Alphonse Allais, who signed Sarcey’s name to a series of columns that appeared in the bohemian journal Le Chat Noir. Sarcey, a well-known drama critic, became the butt of jokes among the literati for his stodgy, conservative views (e.g., he blasted Alfred Jarry‘s absurdist classic UBU ROI).
Our limited edition sold out quickly, but it was just a sampler. Now Doug Skinner has compiled and translated all the columns in a delicious 200+ paged trade paperback edition: I AM SARCEY.
These texts reveal Allais at his wicked best and the book is a must-have for fans of hilarious black humor. This volume marks the seventh title in our Alphonse Allais Collection, and our resident Allais scholar, Doug Skinner, provides a sublime introduction and notes on each text.
Only an idiot would pass up I AM SARCEY when it rolls off the press on April 1st.
Also on tap is a special (redesigned) April Fools Issue of LE SCAT NOIR. You can download a copy on our web site (BlackScatBooks.net) on April 1st for FREE.
Mark your calendars.