HONK THOSE HORNS! … BRING ON THE NOISES!

photo by Jim McMenamin

The Fourth of July is a noisy holiday, and this year it’s going to be even noisier, as it’s Black Scat’s 10th anniversary. Thus, it’s fitting that we’ve launched Luigi Russolo‘s Italian Futurist classic, THE ART OF NOISES, in a new translation by Doug Skinner. The book includes a seminal introduction by Skinner, as well as his copious notes on the translation. Originally released in Milan by Edizioni Futuriste di Poesia in 1916, this text was a sonic boom that awakened 20th-century avant-garde musical aesthetics and inspired generations of experimental composers.

In the words of Daniel Matei, it was THE ART OF NOISES that “elevated Russolo to the level of Marinetti and Boccioni.”

Artist Norman Conquest has designed our edition and crafted a near facsimile of the original Italian volume, while adding a few obstreperous flourishes of his own. We hope you’ll celebrate Scat’s ten years by ordering a copy of this gem — #44 in our legendary Absurdist Texts & Documents series.

Have a BLAST this summer and make some noise!

THE ART OF NOISES
Luigi Russolo
Translated from the Italian by Doug Skinner
Absurdist Texts & Documents No. 44
A Zang Tumb Tumb Edition
Paperback, illustrated; 134 pp., $15
ISBN: 979-8-9859996-2-4

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Luigi Russolo (1885-1947) was born into a musical family in Portogruaro, Italy. As a child, he studied violin and piano, but decided to switch to painting. When F. T. Marinetti launched Futurism in 1909, Russolo soon became one of its principal members. In 1913, he wrote a manifesto, “L’Arte dei rumori” (“The Art of Noises”), proclaiming a new music based on noises; he spent the next few years building instruments, giving concerts, and expanding his manifesto into a book. A war injury in 1917 slowed him down, but he continued painting and giving concerts throughout the ‘20s, as well as building several “noise harmoniums.” In the ‘30s he became interested in the occult, and wrote a long philosophical dialogue called Al di là della materia (Beyond Matter), arguing for a society based on spirituality. He died in 1947. Although his scores and instruments were lost in World War II, his ideas continue to fascinate and influence many musicians. 

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Doug Skinner  has translated many books from the French and Italian, including works by Alphonse Allais, Pierre-Corneille Blessebois, Caroline Crépiat, Charles Cros, Alfred Jarry, and Giovanni Battista Nazari. Black Scat has published several books of his fiction (Sleepytime Cemetery, The Snowman Three Doors Down), cartoons (The Unknown Adjective, Shorten the Classics), and music (The Doug Skinner Songbook). He has contributed to The Fortean Times, Strange Attractor Journal, Cabinet, Fate, Weirdo, Nickelodeon, Black Scat Review, and other fine periodicals. His musical activities include scores for dance (ODC-San Francisco, Margaret Jenkins), as well as several shows by actor/clown Bill Irwin, including The Regard of Flight, The Courtroom, and The Harlequin Studies; his albums That Regrettable Weekend and It All Went Pfft are available on Bandcamp. 

viva l'italia!

ALLAIS’S CABARET — HOORAY!

It’s a rare event when we publish a work of nonfiction, but this book is dear to our hard-hearted heart. This extraordinary work of scholarship exposes the liveliest fin-de-siècle bohemian cabaret and journal in Paris.

Le Chat Noir was a playground for painters, writers, poets, pranksters, and musicians, all gleefully demolishing the standards of art and good taste. Caroline Crépiat examines such eccentric personalities as Paul Verlaine, Alphonse Allais, Marie Krysinska, Maurice Mac-Nab, and Charles Cros, and analyzes their treatment of money, women, translation, humor, sex, disease, and scatology, with generous samplings of the original texts. A masterful look at a rich and colorful legend of the avant-garde!

Le Chat Noir Exposed
Caroline Crépiat
Translated by Doug Skinner
trade paper, 182 pp.,
Illustrated; $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-7356159-6-7

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Crépiat‘s main area of research focuses on French fin-de-siècle periodicals, humor, and language. Her articles have been published widely in France. She co-edited Masks, bodies, languages — Figures in contemporary erotic poetry (Classiques Garnier Editions: 2017). She lives in Dijon with two chats noirs.

LIT SENSATIONS

“English literature, like English history, teems with inspired dreamers and eccentrics: Bunyan, Blake, Hazlitt, Tolkien, and others, but none is quite as much of an all-rounder as Powys. He is as spiritual as Bunyan, as fantastical as Blake, as down-to-earth as Hazlitt, and every bit as much a fabulist as Tolkien. He is a unique necromancer of literature. He comforts and discomfits in equal measure. The word weird might have been invented just for him.” —Roger Boylan

This provocative collection features ILLUMINATING essays on some of the world’s greatest writers—Montaigne, Pascal, Voltaire, Rousseau, Balzac, Victor Hugo, Guy de Maupassant, Anatole France, Paul Verlaine, Remy de Gourmont, William Blake, Byron, Emily Brontë, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and Oscar Wilde.

Powys on Books and Sensations
JOHN COWPER POWYS
TRADE PAPERBACK, 342 PP., $14.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY ON AMAZON

 

 

smells like teen ‘pataphysics

“If physics proposes: ‘You have a brother and he likes Cheez Whiz,’ then metaphysics replies, ‘If you have a brother, he likes Cheez Whiz.’ But ‘Pataphysics says: ‘You don’t have a brother and he likes Cheez Whiz.’ “—after Georges Perec

NOW AVAILABLE worldwide!

Over two years in the making, smells like teen ‘pataphysics is packed with signs of the phenomenon, oscillating pyramids and luminous vapors. This groundbreaking trade paper edition is profusely illustrated with dystopian charts,  diagrams, maps, mazes, and crime scene photographs. Discover Norman Conquest‘s cryptic pataphysical experiments—triumphs as well as failures— guaranteed to astound. Surf the Science of Imaginary Solutions!

Black Scat Books is proud to bring this illuminating volume to the general public.

**Includes  THE previously unpublished secret rules to the game of Monotony.

smells like teen ‘pataphysics
by Norman Conquest
112 pp., illustrated, $12.95

CLICK HERE to order on Amazon.

 

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

CLICK HERE TO ORDER  

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE INTRODUCTION BY NICK WADLEY