Are we bilious? Don’t be sillious!

No bile here. Make that, NO BILE!  is here!—Alphonse Allais‘s sublime collection of absurdist texts in a new translationfirst publication in English!by the great Doug Skinner.

Alphonse Allais’s third collection finds him in full anti-bilious form: love stories, revenge stories, monologues, short-shorts, and animal stories—all affronting the reader with startlingly modern absurdity, black humor, and wordplay.

“No Oulipian could fail to be enchanted by his essentially ironic tales, in which he juggles the rhetorical and narrative components of writing with rigorous logic and inexhaustibly zany results.”Harry Mathews

Among the highlights are “Absinthes,” an internal monologue about the Green Fairy; “Poor Césarine,” a tale of obsessive love; and “A Good Society,” which proposes collecting used matches for the poor. As a bonus, six uncollected stories are included. PLUS illustrations and informative notes on the text by Doug Skinner.

So don’t be bilious, grab your copy now on Amazon. Start your summer off with blasts of laughter!

drawing by Doug Skinner

Discover all the titles in Black Scat’s ALPHONSE ALLAIS COLLECTION

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DADA LIVES AGAIN!

On August 17 1911—seven years before Max Ernst took up scissors and paste to create his early Dada  art—WHAT A LIFE! was published in London by Methuen & Co. The authors, Edward Verrall Lucas (humorist & travel writer) and George Morrow ( illustrator and regular contributor to Punch), produced their satirical pictorial autobiography using illustrations cut from the pages of Whiteley’s General Catalogue. This inspired act of vandalism was a precursor to many works of avant-garde collage art and satire.

Long out of print in the U.S., Black Scat is proud to  bring this proto-Dada classic  back to life as #34 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series.

WHAT A LIFE ! was  exhibited at MoMA’s 1936 “Fantastic Art, Dada, and Surrealism” show.


WHAT A LIFE! seems to have made little impression, either in England or in France, even though it has the remarkable distinction of being illustrated solely by collages drawn from the catalogue of a large department store in London (Whiteley’s), and therefore of being—as much by the images as by the text that they comment on—one of the first manifestations of that spirit we call “modern.” Raymond Queneau, Bâtons, chiffres et lettres (1950)


What a Life!
E. V. Lucas & George Morrow

Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 34
Perfect-bound,  illustrated; 134 pages
$12
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More fun than a barrel of sock puppets!

”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

What is the truth behind the “Unknown Adjective”? Will Walter and Benny find the elusive batworm? What really goes on out in “Cowboy Country”? And can Dr. Docket find a cure for all that ails Mr. Pert? You’ll discover the answers to these and other burning questions in this profusely illustrated collection of comics and picture stories from the brilliant (albeit peculiar) mind of Doug Skinner. Take a look inside and see for yourself. Your daily dilemmas will soon seem inconsequential, and the laughter you hear may turn out to be your own.

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“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.

Tick tock, tick tock … It’s Time!

“Jason Rolfe’s precise, inventive stories are a treat. He makes them seem easy, which they’re not; he makes them seem funny, which they are. What’s more, they have a tasty Canadian tang to them. Here’s to CLOCKS!” —Doug Skinner

CLOCKS is literary Vaudeville, a stage where slapstick philosophy performs a high-wire act — wrestles with time and mortality. This major collection of comic tales is laced with insight and absurdist angst.

Rolfe’s fiction simultaneously sets the clock forward and back and gives new meaning to the word nonsense.

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KNOW-IT-ALL ALERT!

“Education smarts.” —Marquis de Sade

Le Scat Noir Encyclopaedia—”ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE IN A SINGLE VOLUME!”®

Contains entries from Acrostic to Zwine, and features contributors from around the world—some of whom are distinguished professors at prestigious universities. Others are Nobel Prize winners, while a few have been arrested on felony charges. Discover rare factoids, flash fiction, nubile moon spew, mythological arcana, cabalistic pathogens, pataphysical detritus, scatological schemata, crypto-heuristic scripture, and radical homomorphism. Over 100 pages of profusely illustrated weirdness. ORDER NOW

Cool is here. Happy New Year!

Here is the first publication in English of the master humorist’s collection, Vive la vie! —  stories culled from the pages of Le Chat Noir, packed with madcap (and bawdy) tales of love, adultery, the supernatural, military life, and fake news. These texts are quintessentially Allaisian, spiked with absurd digressions, parenthetical asides, footnotes, puns,  jokes, military jargon, Parisian slang, neologisms, dog Latin, literary quotations, and other unmentionable forms of wordplay. ORDER NOW

 

Le Scat Noir Encyclopædia contains entries from Acrostic to Zwine, and features contributors from around the world—some of whom are distinguished professors at prestigious universities. Others are Nobel Prize winners, while a few have been arrested on felony charges. Discover rare factoids, flash fiction, nubile moon spew, mythological arcana, cabalistic pathogens, pataphysical detritus, scatological schemata, crypto-heuristic scripture, and radical homomorphism. Over 100 pages of profusely illustrated weirdness. ORDER NOW

American Book Review hailed Carla M. Wilson’s  first book,  IMPOSSIBLE CONVERSATIONS, as “profound.”  Now her focus turns to film in this dazzling new fiction collection: CURIOUS IMPOSSIBILITIES:. Taking her cue from French New Wave films of the 1960s, Film Noir, and classics from the ‘70s and ‘80s, Wilson constructs a series of homages to ten visionary directors: Fellini, Tarkovsky, Duras, Robbe-Grillet, Godard, Marker, Truffaut, Bergman, Welles, and Ershadi. Her “cinematic riffs” offer creative interpretations of their iconic films that broke stylistic boundaries using non-traditional techniques. ORDER NOW

12 gifted women writers from around the world unveil intimate stories designed to unsettle, excite, transport, and arouse the reader. “As you move through these tales, points of pleasure will be touched, bliss sent in shock waves. You have uncovered sizzling mysteries, becoming swathed by them. These stimulating women’s voices will carry you through feelings and sensations as old as time.” THE NEW URGE READER 3 features Tamara Faith Berger, Elizabeth Bolton, Emma Gibb, Petra Anne Hawk, Marina Kris, Mandy Lee, Karen Moller, Pamela Naruta, Marina Rubin, Aurora Seymour, Sophia Smith, and Rebecca Woolston. ORDER NOW