Happy May Day, Alphonse Allais!

As the first publisher to bring many books by France’s greatest humorist to America — in sublime translations by Doug Skinner — we are happy to share the exceedingly rare photo below. It was recently unveiled by the Musée Alphonse Allais in Honfleur (Allais’s birthplace) and donated by Nicole et Xavier Artus. It shows Alphonse with his wife, Marguerite, and daughter, Paulette, at “La Ferme de la grande cour” (circa 1896). Of the location, Allais wrote: “I go there often, to this rustic inn, half farm, half hotel; I go there to drink a glass of fresh cider, under the apple trees and even have a bite to eat when the heart tells me…”

Below, we have taken the liberty of colorizing the photograph and improving its exposure. We think it brings the image to life.

Happy May Day to Allais and to all our visitors. Help us celebrate by ordering one of the master’s collections here.

Notes from the editorial office

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED (19 April 2022)
We recently updated two of our New Urge titles with new cover designs by N. Conquest. These handsome paperback editions are available at the links below.

Peculiar Charms

Hidden Gems: The Best of The Pearl


A LIBERTINE CHAPBOOK ATOP THE MENU

A second edition of Denis Diderot‘s From Their Lips to His Ear (Pocket Erotica #6) is also available. It features a delicious illustration on the flyleaf. Diderot, of course, was the highly celebrated 18th century French philosopher & editor of the groundbreaking Encyclopédie. In 1748, in need of money, he wrote this scandalous and satiric libertine allegory — Les Bijoux Indiscrets —whose hero, a sultan, is in possession of a magic ring. This exquisite little edition has been edited by Lawrence Hamilton.

CLICK HERE to order the second edition.


If you missed the recent release of two titles by the great Pierre Louÿs, be sure to check out Lips of Bilitis and A Handbook of Manners for the Good Girls of France

“Pierre Louÿs is one of the great and glorious erotomaniacs of the end of the nineteenth century.”
— André Pierre de Mandiargues

In 2016 we published The New Pleasure & other stories by Louÿs, which is currently out of print. Below, the cover (at left), and (at right) a provocative design which never appeared.

Meanwhile, the first English translation of Alphonse Allais‘s Loves, Delights, & Organs (translated from the French by Doug Skinner) is now available. This is the thirteenth volume in our unrivaled Alphonse Allais Collection.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…. the “funhouse” issue of BLACK SCAT REVIEW has rolled into town.

Grab it HERE.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Originally published in 1894 under the title Les Chansons de Bilitis, this provocative collection of poetry was purportedly translated from the Ancient Greek but was, in fact, the product of the imagination of French poet Pierre Louÿs

A faux contemporary of the poet Sappho, Bilitis offers the modern reader these seductive, sensual, and unashamed celebrations of female sexuality. 

A beautiful book for the bedside.

LIPS OF BILITIS
Pierre Louÿs
Translated by Lono Taggers
Illustrations by Willy Pogány
Paperback; 186 pp., $14
New Urge Editions / Black Scat Books
ISBN 978-1-7379430-5-1

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

IS THE FOURTH WALL A URINAL?

In Eckhard Gerdes’s fifteenth novel, two women friends — one from the city, the other from the suburbs — attend opening night of a cryptic new play: “Pissers’ Theatre.” Oddly enough, both the play and the theatre it’s being presented in have been designed to accommodate audience incontinence. Thus, the production pauses whenever someone needs to empty their bladder. This bizarre experiment plays havoc with the show’s continuity and leads our heroines into strange places — onstage and off.

THE PISSERS’ THEATRE
Eckhard Gerdes
Trade paperback; 112 pp., $12.95
ISBN 978-1-7357646-9-6

CRUEL DESIRES

“This modern classic deserves to be ranked alongside the great French erotic masterpieces,  Story of O  and  The Image, and very few others. Not for the faint-hearted or the narrow-minded, this story of love, excess, degradation, cruelty, tenderness and beauty is for all women whose fantasies and desires embrace the intensely erotic.”                                                                                                   —Dawn Avril Fitzroy

In the tradition of Decadent literature, spiced with Gothic, this provocative contemporary novel takes the reader on a voyage through dream, reverie, fantasy, memory and imagination – recounting the raptures and tortures in the initiation of a young woman, Gabrielle, by the Vicomtesse, the Comte and their entourage in The Domain.

THE RITES OF ECSTASY
Hélène Lavelle
Translated from the French by Valéry Soers
New Urge Editions
Trade paperback original; 240 pp., $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-7356159-0-5

CLICK HERE TO ORDER  IN UK
CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN CANADA
CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN FRANCE
CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN GERMANY
CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN SPAIN
CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN JAPAN
CLICK HERE TO ORDER IN ITALY

 

POCKET EROTICA BLASTS OFF!

We kick off July with the launch of this exciting  and collectible new series from our New Urge imprint: Pocket Erotica—featuring original translations  of classic and obscure works of erotic literature. Each volume is a compact 4 x 6-inch paperback  with  a distinctive uniform design.

Pocket Erotica No. 1 is now available worldwide on Amazon:  DON’T TOUCH by Anne-Gabriel Meusnier de Querlon, translated from the French by Richard Robinson. A fun, lively, contemporary translation of an 18th century French libertine novella with a narrative technique that drops the soutanes, lifts the wimples, and pushes the boundaries of the novel – 150 years ahead of its time. Erotic, sacrilegious, funny and infectious, it is the “amorous true story,” as told by herself, Saint Nitouche, a Carmelite Extern Nun, whose “taste for pleasure and vocation for retreat” bump up against each other in surprisingly modern and eternally scandalous ways in the convent and in the bawdy house. Still scandalous today,  it is like Thérèse Finds Happiness, but without the philosophy.

SOLD OUT

 


An arousing translation of a French libertine tale —naughty, romantic, edgy —that digs below the naves of the 18th century “amphibious” world of sex and religion. Its hero, a young abbot, hones his secular skills and steals the “laurels” of sexual triumph from among his choir of well-bred female trophies. A Coming of Age, originally La Morlière’s Ecclesiastical Laurels, unveils upper-society sexual shenanigans from out of the chapel and into the holy sanctuary of licentiousness and true love.

… desperate not to lose so beautiful a moment of passion, I was already employing the baluster in a way that was, perhaps, unknown to bishops and prelates; she was following along with my reasoning, I was about to give her a taste of its energy; &, in spite of the uncomfortableness of the position, I put forward the DEFINITIVE ARGUMENT: she was not without some distrust in its success, but I was going to destroy her disbelief. Already we were united to the extent of being one, alreadyI was insinuating myself adroitly into her… heart;… I had her half-way… persuaded, when the accursed chambermaid whom we certainly were not expecting, entered brusquely & surprised us; the marchioness was in a bit of a dubious position, & I was deploying my brilliant… state, covered in… glory; in such a state that, in a word, of all my honest readers and critics together, three quarters of them will be more envious of me than imitators….

SOLD OUT

Visionary Essays

We’re excited to bring you this collection of visionary literary essays by British novelist, philosopher, lecturer, and critic, John Cowper Powys—a companion volume to our recent release of Powys on Books and Sensations. This uniform  trade paper edition features Powys’s “literary devotions” and critical essays on Rabelais, Dante, Shakespeare, El Greco, Milton, Charles Lamb, Dickens, Goethe, Matthew Arnold, Shelley, Keats, Nietzsche, Thomas Hardy, Walter Pater, Dostoyevsky, Edgar Allan Poe, and Walt Whitman.

Originally published in 1915 as Visions and Revisions, this collection stood apart from critical writing at the time and added to Powys reputation. An eccentric genius, he is best known for his mystical novels, including the extraordinary Wolf Solent which we’re preparing for publication later this year.

“Powys is still ‘the master’ to me. His words, even today, have the power of bewitching me.” Henry Miller

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY ON AMAZON