On July 4, 2012, we published Alphonse Allais’s MASKS in a limited edition of 50 copies—the first title in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series. The chapbook quickly sold out and, today, is a coveted collector’s item. Since we’ve received many requests to reprint the book, we’re pleased to announce a revised and expanded edition. Translated from the French, adapted and illustrated by Norman Conquest, this new volume also features a most Allaisian introduction & notes on the text by the great Doug Skinner. Originally published in France under the title Un drame bien parisien (1890), this darkly humorous tale is quintessential Allais—a pataphysical text admired by the Surrealists (André Breton included it in his seminal Anthologie de l’humour noir). It was also celebrated by the French group Oulipo, and has been the subject of scholarly studies by the writer and semiotician Umberto Eco, Francis Corblin, and others. This is the first illustrated edition of this mini masterpiece. If you missed out on our first edition, now’s you chance to own a copy. MASKS Alphonse Allais Translation & illustrations by Norman Conquest With an introduction & notes on the text by Doug Skinner Absurdist Texts & Documents No. 1 Revised & Expanded Second Edition 50 pp., perfect-bound; illustrated; Special limited launch price: $12.00 (*$14 after June 4th)
“A badass work of concentrated hallucination.”—Nile Southern
Just in time for the pataphysical New Year, a faux facsimile edition of Aventures dans la ‘pataphysique, which was originally published in Paris in 1951 by Éditions du Sagittaire.
Released in the U.S. by Black Scat in 2013, the limited edition of ADVENTURES IN ‘PATAPHYSICS (Absurdist Texts & Documents #13) sold out quickly. We’re pleased to announce a reprint of that rare edition.
Discover the Jarryesque joys, thrills, and perils of science in a bizarre classic of “imaginary solutions.” With French text and illustrations throughout, this anonymous gem happens to be one of the strangest books we’ve ever published (and that’s saying quite a lot).
$15.00 / $7.50 digital edition
Perfect-bound, illustrated, 64 pp. / Second Printing
‘PATAPHYSICS / SCIENCE / ART / ABSURDISM / FRENCH LITERATURE
We invite you to read an incisive, albeit inconvenient, interview with Jason E. Rolfe, author of An Inconvenient Corpse — a collection of short stories published recently in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series. The interview was conducted by one Paulo Brito and is published in Porta VIII, which appears to be based (inconveniently enough) somewhere in Portugal. To read the interview, simply click this LINK.
Once you’ve done so you’ll undoubtedly wish to purchase a copy of Mr. Rolfe’s book. To do so, just CLICK HERE.
Now wasn’t that convenient.
Part Oulipian exercise, these meticulous scrapings reveal the future in all its sublime absurdity. The author approached the horoscope in his morning newspaper as if it were a puzzle, like the crossword or sudoku. By scraping out the middle part, and joining the beginning and end, he received a hidden message.
Reading outside the lines here one discovers an alternative fate more interesting than the fluff dispensed by run-of-the-mill soothsayers. Indeed, these predictions are pithy, profound, and astonishingly accurate.
In HOROSCRAPES, Doug Skinner offers up 366 clever twists of fate—something for every sign—guaranteed to alter forever how we view the universe.
Who knows what the future holds?
Doug Skinner knows.
by Doug Skinner
ABSURDIST TEXTS & DOCUMENTS NO. 31
Perfect-bound paperback, 66 pp.
ASTROLOGY / WORDPLAY / HUMOR
These absurdist stories document the author’s daily commute to and from work. They are not the sort of adventures and mishaps one commonly experiences. Quite the contrary. Readers are hereby cautioned that these deceptively brief and whimsical tales contain unexpected speed bumps. Laugh at your own risk.
Jason E. Rolfe is a worthy successor to the great French humorist Alphonse Allais.
AN INCONVENIENT CORPSE by Jason E. Rolfe
Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 30
$16 / Edition limited to 300 copies
Perfect-bound paperback, 66 pp.
FICTION / SHORT STORIES / HUMOR
Black Scat’s Absurdist Texts & Documents series is divided into sets of six titles each. This year we’ll be closing out the fifth set with AN INCONVENIENT CORPSE by Jason E. Rolfe (#30) and HOROSCRAPES by Doug Skinner (#31). Both gems are imbued with the mischievous spirit of Alphonse Allais.
Indeed, we launched the series in the summer of 2012 with Allais’s story MASKS, and the great French absurdist remains the guiding light behind Black Scat Books–suitably sublime and obscure. You’ll find plenty of evidence in the just released trade paperback SELECTED PLAYS OF ALPHONSE ALLAIS.
Next month we’re publishing a novel by a talented young writer, Suzanne Burns.
“Sweet and Vicious is an inspired exploration of Waldeinsamkeit and (post)romantic angst that turns the mundane into something beautiful and wild. Burns is a gifted writer.” –D. Harlan Wilson. Coming October 15th, just in time for Halloween.
Need we say more?
Artist Terri Lloyd (THE LITTLE RED BOOK OF COMMIE PORN) returns with a new monstrosity that’s in preparation as we speak. For now, the nature of the book must remain under wraps to avoid causing panic. We can only report that it’s another collaboration with Norman Conquest. (Clearly these two don’t know when to stop.)
The grand “utter nonsense” issue of BLACK SCAT REVIEW (#9) is going to be our biggest issue yet. Publication date TBA.
Looking ahead to 2015, you’ll discover books by Mark Axelrod, Eckhard Gerdes, Alain Arias-Misson, Farewell Debut, Carla M. Wilson, Doug Rice, Richard Kostelanetz, and other luminaries.
Pleased to announce the 29th volume in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series: OULIPO PORNOBONGO 3; ANTHOLOGY OF EROTIC WORDPLAY.
Featuring constrained works by Maria Schurr, Tom La Farge, Paulo Brito, Lucy Selleck, Doug Skinner, Paul Forristal, Ellen Nations, and Norman Conquest.
A titillating anthology—provocative, funny, and uncommonly satisfying.
You can order a copy in print ($15) or the digital edition ($5.25) by clicking HERE.
Black Scat Books is pleased to present David R. Slavitt‘s sublime, Nabokovian text WALLOOMSAC: A WEEK ON THE RIVER — number 28 in our flagship Absurdist Texts & Documents series. Mr. Slavitt, a writer, poet, and translator, has authored over 100 books. Under the pseudonym “Henry Suttion” he wrote the bestselling novel The Exhibitionist which sold over 4 million copies. To list all his titles here would require a web site all its own.
WALLOOMSAC is an absurdist journey that on the surface appears to travel in one direction yet actually meanders in many. The mysterious itinerary contains one surprise after another as Slavitt’s dazzling river ripples with eddies and undercurrents. And what’s this about Thomas Crapper? Well, yes, he’s in the book, too, but don’t ask us to explain.
Poet and critic R. H. W. Dillard:
“David Slavitt has written a book about or for which it is impossible simply to write a blurb—a word, it might interest you to know, coined in 1907 by Gelett Burgess. (Did you think of a purple cow, just then?) The text itself is indescribably (deliciously?) itself. Like the Waloomsac River, it just keeps rolling along, taking the reader irresponsibly with it—laughing out loud again and again and again; marveling at its rapid wit (white water?), the wide breadths of its erudition, the dangerous shallows of its overt and covert cheekiness; marking the vertiginous depths of its, yes, wisdom. To make a long blurb short, I haven’t had this kind of significant fun since I stayed up ‘til dawn one night in 1962 breathlessly reading Pale Fire for the very first time.”
Come take a swim… the water is fine.
WALLOOMSAC: A WEEK ON THE RIVER
David R. Slavitt
Absurdist Texts & Documents No. 28
Paper, perfect-bound; 88 pp. $20.00
CLICK HERE to order.