drawing by Doug Skinner
“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!
Just in time for the holidays, THE ALPHONSE ALLAIS READER has arrived!
Drawn from Black Scat’s eight editions of the master French absurdist, this compendium is a sublime introduction to the wordplay and black humor that shocked and dazzled Bohemian Paris in the raucous “Banquet Years.” The READER includes the celebrated pataphysical text “A Thoroughly Parisian Drama”—a favorite of both André Breton and the Oulipians—as well as stories, plays, an excerpt from his only novel, and the classic exploits of Captain Cap and Francisque Sarcey. The translator, Doug Skinner, has added copious notes and an illuminating introduction.
Step into the funhouse! Laughs and surprises await!
CLICK HERE to order on Amazon.
LE CHAT NOIR was one of the liveliest avant-garde papers in 19th century Paris. Published by the legendary cabaret, it delivered a weekly blast of anarchism, pranks, Decadent poetry, and black humor by such luminaries as Alphonse Allais, Charles Cros, and Paul Verlaine. It was also famous for its cartoons. Here are 101 of them: the poetic fantasies of Adolphe Willette, the slapstick animals of Théophile Steinlen, the military sketches of Caran d’Ache, the bawdy gags of Döes and Fernand Fau, and much more. With an introduction, translations, and notes by Doug Skinner.
101 CARTOONS FROM LE CHAT NOIR
Early Comics from Bohemian Paris
Compiled & Translated by Doug Skinner
124 pp., large trade paper edition; $14.95
Available Worldwide on Amazon
It’s back to cool with the great French monologist, humorist, poet, and inventor—in a trenchant translation by Doug Skinner.
Born in1842, Charles Cros was one of the most brilliant minds of his generation, equally adept at poetry, fiction, and scientific inquiry. He wrote smutty verses with Verlaine, synthesized gems with Alphonse Allais, contributed wild prose fantasies to Le Chat Noir, and experimented with color photography and sound recording, only to die young, poor, and alcoholic. Not incidentally, he also invented the comic monologue for the actor Coquelin Cadet. In these strikingly spontaneous and modern sketches, he introduces a gallery of fools and obsessives—The Clean Man, The Fencing Master, The Capitalist, The Friend of the Family—all nattering away, assaulting the audience with trivia, and blithely unaware of their own failings.
This edition collects all 22 of Cros’s monologues—masterfully translated & introduced by Doug Skinner—and includes performance notes by Coquelin, plus two biographical essays by his friend and colleague Alphonse Allais.
No bile here. Make that, NO BILE! is here!—Alphonse Allais‘s sublime collection of absurdist texts in a new translation—first publication in English!—by the great Doug Skinner.
Alphonse Allais’s third collection finds him in full anti-bilious form: love stories, revenge stories, monologues, short-shorts, and animal stories—all affronting the reader with startlingly modern absurdity, black humor, and wordplay.
“No Oulipian could fail to be enchanted by his essentially ironic tales, in which he juggles the rhetorical and narrative components of writing with rigorous logic and inexhaustibly zany results.”—Harry Mathews
Among the highlights are “Absinthes,” an internal monologue about the Green Fairy; “Poor Césarine,” a tale of obsessive love; and “A Good Society,” which proposes collecting used matches for the poor. As a bonus, six uncollected stories are included. PLUS illustrations and informative notes on the text by Doug Skinner.
So don’t be bilious, grab your copy now on Amazon. Start your summer off with blasts of laughter!
Discover all the titles in Black Scat’s ALPHONSE ALLAIS COLLECTION
PLUS new books by Charles Cros, Farewell Debut, Eckhard Gerdes, Norman Conquest
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translated from the French and illustrated by Norman Conquest
with an introduction and notes on the text by Doug Skinner
Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 1
Illustrated in full color; 50 pp., $12.50
CLICK HERE to order
REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS
with an introduction by Robert Wexelblatt
Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 27
Illustrated; 70 pp., $12
CLICK HERE to order
Black Scat launched its first book on July 4th, 2012. MASKS by Alphonse Allais was #1 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series of limited edition chapbooks. The original volume (above left)—adapted, translated and illustrated by artist Norman Conquest—was limited to only 50 copies. It sold out quickly and is a prized collector’s item today.
In 2015, we issued a revised and expanded edition (center) featuring an introduction and notes on the text by Allaisian scholar Doug Skinner.
The first two editions had limited distribution and were only available directly from the printer. Today we’re launching a third edition of this mischievous pataphysical tale — available on Amazon in North America and Europe.
If you missed this little gem, CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.
View our complete Alphonse Allais Collection