Three Plays by D. Harlan Wilson

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Black Scat Books is proud to add D. Harlan Wilson to its list of luminaries. This is the renegade author’s first collection of plays, and it’s guaranteed to provoke  standing ovations — or perhaps we should say “fistfights in the orchestra” as Jarry’s Ubu Roi did so long, long ago.

Over the last two decades, D. Harlan Wilson has established himself as a writer of avant-garde fiction that has been called many names, ranging from speculative, literary and postmodern to irreal, bizarro, absurdist and “splatter-schtick.” Some say he defies categorization and is a genre unto himself. In THREE PLAYS, Wilson subverts traditional forms of stagecraft, unmans the helm of narrative, and exposes the nightmares that distinguish everyday life in urban and suburban America. Channeling Samuel Beckett and Jon Fosse in one scene, Russell Edson and Alfred Jarry in the next, he subjects actors as much as audiences and readers to mindless violence and torrid irrationality under the auspices of literary theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy and science. These plays belong more to an ultramodern zoo than a modern-day theater. In “The Triangulated Diner,” a Camero fishtails across the stage and runs over actors as jungle animals attack the audience. An elephant is hung onstage by a crane for stomping on the head of an abusive handler in “The Dark Hypotenuse.” “Primacy” finds a husband and wife struggling to write the perfect obituary, ideally one that includes wuxia death matches and flying holy men . . . This collection describes a microcosm that is at once uncanny and familiar, weird and ordinary, comedic and horrific. Wilson puts the human condition on trial and challenges us to view theatrics in a different light.

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The official publication date is March 15th, but ADVANCE COPIES ARE AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon. CLICK HERE to order.

THREE PLAYS BY D. HARLAN WILSON
Trade paperback; 160 pages; $12.95
ISBN-13: 978-0692631539

Cover photograph by Lodiza LePore / DESIGN BY NORMAN CONQUEST

Theatre of the Absurd—Opening Night!

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“Witkiewicz takes up and continues the vein of dream and grotesque fantasy exemplified by the late Strindberg or by Wedekind; his ideas are closely paralleled by those of the surrealists and Antonin Artaud which culminated in the masterpieces of the dramatists of the absurd—Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Arrabal—of the late nineteen forties and the nineteen fifties.” -Martin Esslin

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz  (pen name: Witkacy) was desperate to get out of revolutionary St. Petersburg after the Bolsheviks seized power. Back in Poland, eager to make money and a name for himself, Witkacy began to write plays in a style that he called “Pure Form,” which foreshadowed the Theatre of the Absurd. By the time that he wrote VAHAZAR (1921), Witkacy had achieved a dreamlike dramaturgy:  centered on the paranoid and crazed despot, Vahazar, and spiraling outwards through an anthill society of automatons, religious cults, and quack scientific and social theories, this play is about being trapped in nothingness.

This translation of the play by Celina Wieniewska was commissioned by Stefan Themerson in 1967, and later announced as a forthcoming title by the legendary Gaberbocchus Press. Somehow the project was sidetracked and has never appeared until this Black Scat Books publication. Paul Rosheim, publisher of Obscure Publications and scholar of Themersonia, provides a sublime introduction with biographical information about Witkacy and the story of this translation. The book also includes an appendix featuring Franciszka Themerson’s “Vahazar: A Few Suggestions for Design.”

“…Witkiewicz, Bruno Schulz and myself, the three musketeers of the Polish avant-garde.” —Witold Gombrowicz

Available now on Amazon in the U.S. and Europe.

Click here to order this masterpiece of the absurd.

 

 

 

Give Different . . .

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To order, click on a title in the list below.

CAPTAIN CAP: HIS ADVENTURES, HIS IDEAS, HIS DRINKS. Alphonse Allais. Translated by Doug Skinner
SELECTED PLAYS OF ALPHONSE ALLAIS. Alphonse Allais. Translated by Doug Skinner
TINTIN MEETS THE DRAGON QUEEN in THE RETURN OF THE MAYA TO MANHATTAN.
Alain Arias-Misson
WAITING FOR GODEAU.  Honoré de Balzac. Translated by Mark Axelrod
SWEET AND VICIOUS. Suzanne Burns
DON’T WORRY, IT’S NOT ABOUT HATS.  Norman Conquest
THE NEGLECTED WORKS OF NORMAN CONQUEST. Norman Conquest
REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS. Norman Conquest
‘S A BIRD. a play by Eckhard Gerdes
THE SUGAR NUMBERS. Judson Hamilton
THE COMPLETE UNABRIDGED LEXICON.  Opal Louis Nations
SURREALIST TEXTS. Gisèle Prassinos
WOMEN THAT DON’T EXIST. Frank Pulaski
AN INCONVENIENT CORPSE. Jason E. Rolfe
FISHSLICES. Paul Rosheim
THE UNKNOWN ADJECTIVE AND OTHER STORIES. Doug Skinner
HOROSCRAPES. Doug Skinner
WALLOOMSAC; A WEEK ON THE RIVER. David R. Slavitt
CROCODILE SMILES. Yuriy Tarnawsky
OULIPO PORNOBONGO 3: ANTHOLOGY OF EROTIC WORDPLAY. Various
THE DERANGEMENT OF JULES TORQUEMAL. Robert Wexelblatt
THE STRAW THAT BROKE. Tom Whalen

BLACK SCAT REVIEW – No. 7 – Lit Noir
BLACK SCAT REVIEW – No. 8 – Seduction
BLACK SCAT REVIEW – No. 9/10 – Double Issue – Utter Nonsense

 

Stop Making Sense!—Nonsense Rules!

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NOW AVAILABLE: A special double issue of BLACK SCAT REVIEW—128 pages packed with hogwash, baloney, moonshine, jive, tripe, drivel, bilge, bull, guff, bunk, bosh, BS, eyewash, piffle, poppycock, phooey, hooey, malarkey, hokum, twaddle, gobbledygook, codswallop, flapdoodle, hot air; and tommyrot. In short: UTTER NONSENSE!

Featuring art & texts by Jake Alexander, Alphonse Allais, Alain Arias-Misson, Mark Axelrod, Paulo Brito, Norman Conquest, Farewell Debut, Fiona Duffin, Tom La Farge, Allen Forrest, Ryan Forsythe, Eckhard Gerdes, Rhys Hughes, Janne Karlsson, Teri Lee Kline, Richard Kostelanetz, Jhaki M.S. Landgrebe, Michael Leigh, Terri Lloyd, David Macpherson, Samantha Memi, Monika Mori, Yarrow Paisley, Sheila Pell, Jason E. Rolfe, Doug Skinner, Wendy Walker, Carla M. Wilson, and D. Harlan Wilson.

BLACK SCAT REVIEW #9/10 – THE UTTER NONSENSE ISSUE
5¼” x 8¼”, Perfect-Bound. Full color. 128 pp.
$24.95 (Collector’s Edition)   /   $7.00  (Digital Edition)   –  CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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Alphonse Allais—LIVE!—On Stage!

OK, that’s hyperbole, but here’s the next best thing to Allais’s reincarnation.

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Please take your seats…STANDING ROOM ONLY.

This long awaited collection of rare theatrical texts includes original translations—never before published in English—of ten monologues, three one-act plays, and twelve shorter dialogues, skits and burlesques drawn from Allais’s columns in such publications as Le Chat Noir  and L’Hydropathe.

In addition to Doug Skinner’s fascinating notes on the texts, you’ll find an appendix of scarce photographs from the Paris production of “Le Pauvre Bougre et Le Bon Génie.”

Here’s a peek at the Playbill…

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This unique collection of absurdist gems is proto-Dada at its most delicious!

Available in a trade paperback edition; 124 pp. Illustrated. $12.95

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Move over, Jarry!

Doppelgängbangers—Live on Stage!

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If you thought the Theatre of the Absurd was dead, think again—it’s alive & kicking in ‘S A BIRD by Eckhard Gerdes. This crazy, Patchenesque drama subverts expectations at every turn. It flips words upside down, turns them inside-out, and serves them up like waffles of Dada.

There’s a madcap cast of characters, too—complete with dead ringers—a sax player, pianist, a soprano and You (#’s 1, 2, 3).

We invite you to enjoy this jazzy, gender-bending battle of the saxes.

‘S A BIRD
A play by Eckhard Gerdes
Black Scat Classic Interim Edition No. 06
Perfect-bound, 68 pp., Limited to 100 copies.
$14

CLICK HERE to order.