Time for Your Dose of Existential Humor

When Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachev steps in front of a trolleybus and is killed, he immediately regrets not looking both ways before crossing the street. It’s one of many deaths Daniil faces in these eighteen absurdist tales. From a mind that wanders too far at lunch, and a madcap chase through St. Petersburg, to a clock that stops time whenever it’s observed, these stories trace not only the lives and deaths of the hero, but the author’s impossible nostalgia for a time, a city and a writer he never knew. Filled with existential humor, this masterful collection explores the thinly-veiled boundary between sense and nonsense. 

“The Many Lives and Countless Deaths of Daniil Ivanovich is an absurdist gem in which Jason E. Rolfe channels the best essences of Gogol and Dosto evsky while authenticating his own unique voice. Uncanny, whimsical, and smart, these interstitial stories and vignettes reminded me that literature isn’t dead yet after all.” —D. Harlan Wilson, author of Outré and The Psychotic Dr. Schreber

“Whether you find this funny or frustrating, I would recommend a few sips of this book from day to day. Taken all at once, it can induce mental chaos, but taken one story at a time, it can promise wide smiles. Jason E. Rolfe might be the most specialized of specialist writers, but he deserves a wide, non-specialized readership.” —Mark Fuller Dillon, author of Ice and Autumn Glass


THE MANY LIVES AND COUNTLESS DEATHS OF DANIIL IVANOVICH
by Jason E. Rolfe
with a Postscript by Paul Rosheim
Trade paperback, 112 pp., $14
ISBN 978-1-7373711-2-0

Available on Amazon in North America, Europe, and Australia


Jason Rolfe writes fiction that is both darkly comic and comically absurd, often using humour to shed light on things he finds philosophically absurd. His publications include the novellas, The Puppet-Play of Doctor Gall (Black Scat Books, 2020) and An Archive of Human Nonsense (Snuggly Books, 2017), and the short story collection, Clocks (Black Scat Books, 2018). His short stories have recently appeared in the anthologies The Neo-Decadent Cookbook (Eibonvale Press, 2020), Bitter Distillations (Egaeus Press, 2021) and Uncertainties V (Swan River Press, 2021). Jason is a frequent contributor to Black Scat Review.

Also available from Black Scat Books:

Happy New Year!

A smart start to a pataphysical new year.

from Belgium with love
Portugal

Bonne Patannée 2021!
Time to celebrate imaginary solutions. — Linda Klieger Stillman
Boudoir Reference

This volume contains all the knowledge you’ll ever need to have a successful life of the mind. Profusely illustrated, featuring entries by an international roster of distinguished experts from the arts, sciences, university and academia.

“An encyclopedia ought to make good the failure to execute such a project hitherto, and should encompass not only the fields already covered by the academies, but each and every branch of human knowledge.” —Diderot

“Today everyone wants to know everything – and preferably in alphabetical order.” —François Caradec

Le mot encyclopédie a été utilisé en français pour la première fois par Rabelais, mais ce n’est que lorsque Norman Conquest en a édité une qu’il a pris une dimension sublime.”—R. Queneau

Distinguished contributors from around the world include: Adrienne Auvray, Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Norman Conquest, Caroline Crépiat, René Descartes, Peter Gambaccini, Eckhard Gerdes, Charles Holdefer, Rhys Hughes, Tractor Inspector, Alfred Jarry, M. Kasper, Richard Kostelanetz, Amy Kurman, Librairie Larousse, Michael Leigh, Olchar E. Lindsann, Opal Louis Nations, Daren Elsa Nibelly, Dr. Novalis, Pata-No , Richard Peabody, Mercie Pedro, Derek Pell, Charlotte Porter, Frank Pulaski, Jason E. Rolfe, Sourav Roy, Dr. I. L. Sandomir, Paulette Single, Doug Skinner, Maddy Smith, Linda Klieger Stillman, Corinne Taunay, Text Fixer, Kimberly Vodicka, Tom Whalen, Femke van der Wijk, Carla Wilson.

ORDER YOUR COPY

TOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Just in time for Xmas — all the world’s knowledge in a single stocking stuffer!

Le Scat Noir Encyclopédie et Dictionnaire de la Pataphsique, des arts et du savoir humain, par une société d’hommes et de femmes de lettres (volume deux) has arrived. This sublime paperback encyclopedia packs everything you need for a successful life of the mind into a single volume. Over 100 pages! This profusely illustrated edition is a must-have for collectors of arcane facts, bizarre biographies, astounding science, impossible inventions, and cryptic definitions. You’ll find everything under the sun from Absentee to Zyborg.

Featuring over 40 distinguished experts from around the globe, including: Adrienne Auvray, Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Norman Conquest, Caroline Crépiat, René Descartes, Peter Gambaccini, Eckhard Gerdes, Charles Holdefer, Rhys Hughes, Tractor Inspector, Alfred Jarry, M. Kasper, Richard Kostelanetz, Amy Kurman, Librairie Larousse, Michael Leigh, Olchar E. Lindsann, Musée Patamécanique, Opal Louis Nations, Daren Elsa Nibelly, Dr. Novalis, Pata-No , Richard Peabody, Mercie Pedro, Derek Pell, Charlotte Porter, Frank Pulaski, Jason E. Rolfe, Sourav Roy, Dr. I. L. Sandomir, Paulette Single, Doug Skinner, Maddy Smith, Linda Klieger Stillman, Corinne Taunay, Text Fixer, Kimberly Vodicka, Tom Whalen, Femke van der Wijk, Carla Wilson.

Order now and we’ll include this lovely back cover…

“You can’t judge a book by its barcode.” —Norman Conquest

The Saucer Has Landed!

In honor of Donald Trump‘s historic election loss we’re bringing back an out-of-print classic from our Absurdist Texts & Documents series:

The thirteen poems penned by screenwriter/director Ed Wood during his lifetime will not to be found in the Ed Wood, Jr. Collection at Cornell University. Cornell is home to the original draft of Wood’s screenplay  “Grave Robbers from Outer Space” (released in 1959 as “Plan 9 from Outer Space”), as well as his rare novels  Killer in Drag (1965), Death of a Transvestite  (1967), and others. There is not, however, a single shred of Wood’s poetry. The only evidence that “the world’s worst filmmaker” was also a poet of equivalent talent are several dozen rejection letters, including one from The New Yorker for a poem entitled “shreik” [sic].

According to Wood’s second (?) wife, the poet renounced his efforts as “pure crap” in 1968, and buried these thirteen unpublished works at the La Brea Tar Pits in California. A few days later, she attempted to retrieve the pages, but they had vanished from their unmarked grave. Wood subsequently coined the term “poesy-snatchers” to explain what had happened to his missing body of work.

Nearly 30 years later the poems were discovered inside an abandoned flying saucer that landed in Lodi, New Jersey. In 1996, the poems were published privately in a limited edition by a small press in Coronado, California under the title Selected Poems — despite the fact that the book represents Wood’s total poetic output.

Black Scat is proud to bring these lost odes back from the dead in a glowing, unexpurgated chapbook. We have erred on the side of caution and retained the original title for—who knows?—perhaps the bard will revisit our planet and dump some more gems.

Click here to read the rave review by John Pietaro in SENSITIVE SKIN magazine.

June Buffoonery!

Last month we were tickled pink and apple-green to announce
a new collection by THE master of the absurd, Alphonse Allais
. For June, we’re JUST PLAIN pickled to unleash THIS anthology of unadulterated nonsense — nonsense in all its merry infestations,  from subtle emanations to cartoon lunacy.

LE SCAT NOIR BEDSIDE NONSENSE is profusely illustrated and packed with AMUSING stories, songs, games, WORDPLAY & poesy by an international roster of inspired misfits.

Featuring: Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Angie Brenner, Ken Brown, Norman Conquest, Caroline Crépiat, Haley Dahl,  Farewell Debut, Paul Forristal, Ryan Forsythe, Penelope Goddard, Jean-Jacques Grandville, Simon Hanes, Rhys Hughes, Alexei Kalinchuk, KKUURRTT, Rick Krieger, David Moscovich, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim, Bob Rucker, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Doug Skinner, Terry Southern, Yuriy Tarnawsky, Tom Whalen, and Carla M. Wilson.

It’s the perfect antidote  for  summer lockdown  — and  no mask required.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

back cover

In the wings some special things…

Here at Black Scat we never sleep. As everyone heads off on vacation, you’ll find us huddled around our Macs, bringing  sublime art and literature to print.  There’s plenty of excitement ahead and we’re thrilled to announce these forthcoming releases.

Watch for a collection of works by the great Stefan Themerson who, with his wife, the artist Franciszka, founded the legendary Gaberbocchus Press  (London, 1948-1979).

A poet, publisher, novelist, filmmaker, composer and philosopher, Stefan Themerson was a giant force in the avant-garde of the 20th century. A magus, a magician, his books are filled with wisdom, absurd humor, and dazzling ideas. His  unique vision is more relevant today than ever, and thanks to Paul Rosheim, Black Scat will be bringing you Critics and My Talking Dog: Selected Stories, Essays, Lectures & a Play.   

As the force behind Obscure Publications, Rosheim (with the guidance of British art critic, and founder of the Themerson Archive Jasia Reichardt) published a number of  limited edition chapbooks by Themerson. He is busy  compiling this seminal introduction to Stefan’s texts. The book will also  feature an introduction by noted art historian and artist Nick Wadley.

This is destined to be a Scat classic.

* * *

drawing by Doug Skinner

Doug Skinner‘s delightfully absurd musical instruments appeared each month in the pages of our journal, Le Scat Noir. The artist has now rounded up all these drawings (along with previously unpublished specimens) for his forthcoming collection Instrumentarium. Even if you’re  tone deaf,  this book will have you humming along, clicking your fingers, tapping your feet and laughing out loud.

While you’re waiting, check out Skinner’s hilarious collection of comics, The Unknown Adjective and Other Stories. Originally published in 2014, it continues to be one of our most popular titles. But don’t take our word for it,  look at these raves:

”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

You can grab a copy on Amazon at this LINK.

Stay tuned for more details on these sublime Scat titles. We also have a few surprises in store, so be sure to subscribe to this blog in the right-hand column here and you won’t miss a gem.

drawing by Doug Skinner

Happy Summer!

Green is the New Black

Have you seen The Book With the Green Cover?

It’s a collection of verbo-visual treats by Norman Conquest. It features posters, charts, mock book & magazine covers, rectified readymades, typographic diversions, found novels, and other detritus. It’s profusely illustrated with color plates and silverware.

Available now, just in time for summer. Be the first kid on the block to take this coffee table chapbook to the beach!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY

 

This Side Upside-Down!

“Charles Cros was a being miraculously gifted in every way, a strangely personal and charming poet, a true scientist, a disconcerting fantasist.” —Alphonse Allais

Charles Cros and Émile Goudeau were quintessential Bohemian poets of the 1880s. Cros also experimented with the phonograph and color photography; Goudeau founded the Hydropathes, who met to declaim poetry while not drinking water. Cros and Goudeau’s only collaboration was a series of five exuberant stories published in 1880, which satirized such hot topics as divorce and capital punishment with bawdy humor and wild flights of fancy. All five stories are included here, plus four solo stories by Cros that complete the series, translated and annotated by Doug Skinner.

“Émile Goudeau was a fine man, and he had a lot of talent, an original talent as flavorsome as wine.” —Maurice Donnay

“Amiable smuttiness.” —Émile Zola

These dense and nutty gems will surprise you!

CLICK HERE to order UPSIDE-DOWN STORIES — the 35th title in our seminal Absurdist Texts & Documents series.

 

Just in Time for Xmas!

ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE IN A SINGLE VOLUME!®

Le Scat Noir Encyclopædia contains entries from Acrostic to Zwine, and features forty-three contributors from around the globe—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.

Only $12.95 — Available Worldwide on Amazon. CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Contributors include Mark Axelrod, Jeff Bagato, Jacques Bekaert, Doktor Bey, Paulo Brito, Adam Levon Brown, Theodore Carter, Brendan Connell, Norman Conquest, Sean Coolican, Catherine D’Avis, Farewell Debut, Edith Doove, Paul Forristal, Ryan A. Forsythe, Peter Gambaccini, Eckhard Gerdes, Amelia Gorman, Thomas Gresham, Charles Holdefer, James R. Hugunin, Harold Jaffe,  Richard Kostelanetz, Rachel Kushner, Terri Lloyd, Harry McCullagh, David Macpherson, Opal Louis Nations, Andy O’Clancy, Peter Payack, Caleb Puckett, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim, Stephen Silke, Mercie Pedro e Silva,  Doug Skinner, Seth D. Slater, Yuriy Tarnawsky, Robert Wexelblatt, Tom Whalen, Gregg Williard, Carla M. Wilson, and D. Harlan Wilson.