A Dirty Story as You Like It

We’re pleased to present the 14th title in our Pocket Erotica series — a must-have edition for fans of Oulipo and innovative literature.

Oulipo’s interactive concept of “tree literature” was first implemented by Raymond Queneau in his short story “Un conte à votre façon” (A Story as You Like It). In this wickedly clever (and very funny) variation, Kim Vodicka follows in Queneau’s hallowed footsteps with a do-it-yourself text that’s guaranteed to satisfy all-comers.

In A Dirty Story as You Like It, the reader chooses from multiple plots, navigates the course to a satisfying climax, or changes direction whenever the urge strikes. Do all roads lead to ecstasy? Who knows, who cares, because getting there is half the fun.


A DIRTY STORY AS YOU LIKE IT
Kim Vodicka
Pocket Erotica #14
paperback; 40 pp.; $10
ISBN  978-1-73711-1-3


A B O U T T H E. A U T H O R

Kim Vodicka is the spokesbitch of a degeneration, “a softer-spoken, more genteel Lydia Lunch,” according to The Houston Press. She is the author of four full-length poetry collections—most recently, The Elvis Machine (CLASH Books, 2020) and Dear Ted (Really Serious Literature, forthcoming 2022). She is also the author of several chapbooks, including a poetic comic book, a 7” vinyl EP of sound poems, and a book of poetry illustrated by various artists local to Memphis. Additionally, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee and recipient of artist grants from PEN America, Poets & Writers, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and Authors League Fund. Her poems, prose, and visual art have been featured in The Thought Erotic, The New Urge Reader 4, SPREAD, Harbinger Asylum, Forbidden Futures, Best American Experimental Writing, and many others. For the past decade, she has toured the nation performing spoken word with rock’n’roll accompaniment in venues both illustrious and disreputable, including the legendary Sun Studio. Originally from South Louisiana, she lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her beloved cat, Lula. 


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.

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

YIPPEE YI YO KI YAY!

“…one of his finest collections to date.” –Ceri Shaw 

BLAZING TALES OF COWPOKE LIT!

Rhys Hughes saddles up & blasts his way across the vast plains — kickin’ up trouble in this hog-wild collection of Western Weirdness. Using various forms (short stories, a play, lonesome poems — even a garsh-dang essay!), he roasts the genre & serves up some hearty, avant-garde grub — fresh as a dew-dappled Texas rose.

Guns, puns, cowgirrrls & tumbleweed — what more could ya ask for. CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY BEFORE SUNDOWN

“Rhys Hughes seems almost the sum of our planet’s literature. He’s as tricky as his own characters. He toys with convention. He makes the metaphysical political, the personal incredible and the comic hints at subtle pain.”
— MICHAEL MOORCOCK

“A dazzling disintegration of the reality principle. Raises the bar on profundity and sets a comic standard for the tragic limits of our human experience. Like Beckett on nitrous oxide. Like Kafka with a brighter sense of humour.” — A.A. ATTANASIO

“If Hughes ever stops writing fiction I will shoot him.” — JEFF VANDERMEER

“If I said he was a Welsh writer who writes as though he has gone to school with the best writing from all over the world, I wonder if my compliment would just sound provincial. Hughes’ style, with all that means, is among the most beautiful I’ve encountered in several years.”— SAMUEL R. DELANY

WEIRDLY OUT WEST
Rhys Hughes
Absurdist Texts & Documents (No. 42)
paperback; 141 pp., $14
ISBN 978-1-7357646-1-0


**Read Ceri Shaw’s rave review

DO THE MATH

FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION

The incomparable humorist is in his prime here, spinning out dark fantasies on cycling in Ancient Rome, the taste of tears, the economic advantages of germ warfare, God’s dislike of Christmas, and the proper chemicals for a chaperone’s chamberpot. The intrepid Captain Cap pitches his bizarre inventions over cocktails, and Allais sends back notes from his travels to North America and Southern France. At 65 stories, this collection is Allais’s largest—PLUS two extra stories by Allais and two by Octave Mirbeau, on the pressing issue of ambulatory vegetables.

We’re tickled and thrilled to bring you the 12th title in our Alphonse Allais Collection: 2 + 2 = 5 —translated, with an introduction and notes on the text, by the absurdly gifted Doug Skinner.

Alphonse is in his prime here, spinning out dark fantasies on cycling in Ancient Rome, the taste of tears, the economic advantages of germ warfare, God’s dislike of Christmas, and the proper chemicals for a chaperone’s chamberpot. The intrepid Captain Cap pitches his bizarre inventions over cocktails, and Allais sends back notes from his travels to North America and Southern France. At 65 stories, this collection is the humorist’s largest—PLUS two extra stories by Allais and two by Octave Mirbeau, on the pressing issue of ambulatory vegetables. What does it all add up to? . . . Hilarity!

2 + 2 = 5
Alphonse Allais
Translated from the French by Doug Skinner
Original cover painting by Lilianne Milgrom
Trade paperback; 289 pp., $14.95

Buy Now

CLICK ON YOUR FLAG TO ORDER OUTSIDE THE USA

About the Author
ALPHONSE ALLAIS (1854-1905) was a peerless French humorist, celebrated posthumously by the Surrealists for his elegant style and disturbing imagination. In addition to composing absurdist texts for newspapers such as Le Chat Noir and Le Journal, he experimented with holorhymes, invented conceptual art, and created the earliest known example of a silent musical composition: Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man (1884). Truly ahead of his time (as well as our own), Allais is needed now more than ever. His mischievous work remains fresh, funny, and always surprising.

Other books by Allais you’ll enjoy. . .

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

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 For Spring & Beyond

from LE SCAT NOIR BEDSIDE NONSENSE

As we hunker down in our shelter here in Northern California, we remain busily preparing books to help you endure these terrible times. Alas, the crunch has hit everyone and small, independent bookstores  and presses are struggling to stay alive. Please consider ordering a title or two from our list  here. You can also donate to Black Scat via  this direct PayPal link  which will help us to keep bringing out titles such as the forthcoming works below. Thanks for your support.

“The only book in the English language to rival Tolstoy.”—George Steiner

We recently released two collections of provocative literary essays by British author John Cowper Powys: Powys on Books and Sensations  and Visions Visions Visions. This fall, we’re publishing  the first volume—(over 450 pages!)—of Powys’s extraordinary two-volume novel, Wolf Solent (1929). Eccentric and mystical, this  literary masterpiece was hailed by Henry Miller as “utterly bewitching.”  V. S. Pritchett called it “…a stupendous and rather glorious book… beautiful and strange as an electric storm.” Margaret Drabble said:“Powys’s work is full of paradoxes and surprises.” We’re proud to present this trio of titles in handsome uniform trade paper editions designed by artist Norman Conquest.

 

Nonsense in all its merry Infestations… from euphonic poesy to madcap cacophony

Coming in June, Le Scat Noir Bedside Nonsense is just what the doctor ordered for quarantined readers—a heady dose of innovative silliness and offbeat amusements. Edited by Norman Conquest, the anthology is #39 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents   series—packed with art & texts by Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Ken Brown, Caroline Crépiat, Haley Dahl, Ryan Forsythe, Paul Forristal, Penelope Goddard, Simon Hanes, Rhys Hughes, Alexei Kalinchuk, KKUURRTT, Rick Krieger, David Moscovich, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim,  Thaddeus Rutkowski, Terry Southern, Yuriy TarnawskyTom Whalen, Carla M. Wilson, and other characters.

A CLASSIC OF EROTIC LITERATURE IN A SPANKING NEW TRANSLATION

Thérèse Finds Happiness by the Marquis d’Argens is the 18th century  precursor  to  the 1967 French novel Emmanuelle. This libertine classic’s potent erotic episodes are interspersed with discourses on a philosophy of pleasure contrasted with  pervasive religious hypocrisy. The novel is noteworthy for its antipathy to the sexual repression of women during “The Age of Enlightenment.” It also happens to be extraordinarily humorous.

Richard Robinson has produced an exquisite new translation of Thérèse philosophe for the  contemporary reader. Thérèse Finds Happiness will be available later this year under our New Urge imprint. 

Also forthcoming from New Urge Editions:  contemporary novels by Jessy Reine and Tom Bussmann. Watch this space for other surprises.

from LE SCAT NOIR BEDSIDE NONSENSE

Alfred Jarry Lives!…Encore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pope’s Mustard-Maker (Le Moutardier du pape) was the last work that Alfred Jarry finished, a few months before his death in 1907. It is a bawdy three-act farce loosely based on the medieval legend of Pope Joan, with a huge cast and lively songs bubbling with rhymes and wordplay.

Readers who know Jarry only from Ubu or his novels may be surprised that he wrote operettas, but his are fully Jarryesque, with his usual gusto for smutty jokes, legend, folklore, puns, wild invention, and popular theater. In his hands, Pope Joan becomes Jane, who runs off with her lover and disguises herself as pope. How will she pass inspection on the slotted chair? What will she do when her husband shows up? And has there ever been another production number celebrating the spiritual virtues of enemas?

This is the first translation of this major work; it also includes an introduction and notes by the translator, Doug Skinner.

All hail The Pope’s Mustard-Maker!

THE POPE’S MUSTARD-MAKER
by Alfred Jarry
Translated from the French by Doug Skinner
Absurdist Texts & Documents #37
135 pp., paper, $12.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER