SURREALISM LIVES!

“An erotic tale that undresses genres.”
—Charles Plet 

A fairy tale of surrealist l’amour fou, Lise Deharme‘s Oh! Violette or the Politeness of Plants was originally published by Eric Losfeld in Paris in 1969. Translated from the French by Edith Doove, this Black Scat edition is the book’s first publication in English.

photograph by Man Ray

Lise Deharme (née Anne-Marie Hirtz)  was a French writer associated with the Surrealist movement.  In January 1925, she visited the Paris Bureau of Surrealist Research. As a result of an incident that occurred during her visit, which is recorded in André Breton‘s novel Nadja, she would become known as the “dame au gant,” or the Lady of the Glove. In the late 1930s, Deharme collaborated with Claude Cahun on the book Le Cœur de Pic. After its publication in 1937 Deharme, alternatively, came to be known in the Surrealist circle as “la Dame de Pique”  [the Queen of Spades]. Around this time she was closely connected to Breton, Paul Eluard, and Man Ray. [Source: Wikipedia]

 

Coming in April, 2019

LET THERE BE LAUGHTER!

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.

 

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THE CROS FLIES!

CHARLES CROS: COLLECTED MONOLOGUES

It’s back to cool with the great French monologist,  humorist, poet, and inventor—in a trenchant translation by Doug Skinner.

***FIRST PUBLICATION IN ENGLISH!***

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.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The sheer playfulness of certain fanciful parts of Cros’s work must not let us forget that in the center of some of his finest poems, a revolver is aimed at us.”—André Breton

The Three Faces of Masks

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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

collection new

 

“A Surrealist museum of femmes fatale!”

WOMEN cover

Not since André Breton’s Nadja has there been anything like this. Hallucinatory portraits, collaged, painted, scrawled by a visual poet of Chicago’s mean streets. Ephemeral, fresco’d goddesses drift out of reach, taunt us, haunt us, inspire desire and erotic obsessions. Indifferent brides, savage debutantes, sirens and succubi, erotic dream queens and mythical girls next door.

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The artist’s one-of-kind hand-bound original.

Originally an extraordinary one-of-a-kind, hand-bound artist’s book, WOMEN THAT DON’T EXIST has been lovingly reproduced in sublime full color. 63 pages, perfect-bound in a limited collector’s edition of 100 copies. $16.00  / BLACK SCAT CLASSIC INTERIM EDITION #09

BACK-COVER
Back cover.

Frontis and title page

Frontis and title page

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 Frank Pulaski’s graffiti’d visions seduce the eye and fire the imagination.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Surrealism Lives!

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We start the New Year off with a stunning collection of texts by Gisèle Prassinos—one of surrealism’s most gifted voices.

Prassinos was discovered at age 14 by André Breton who included her poetry in his seminal Anthologie de l’humour noir (1940). Breton commented: “The tone of Gisèle Prassinos is unique: all the poets are jealous of it.” Indeed, her haunting, childlike style remains unrivaled and her stories timeless. 

photo by Man Ray

Gisèle Prassinos reading her poems to the Surrealists (1934)
Photo © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP, Paris

Exquisitely translated from the French by Ellen Nations, this limited edition includes 20 transformative texts, plus eight original watercolor paintings by the artist Bruce Hutchinson.spread

That half the works in this collection were written when Prassinos was just fourteen and fifteen is evidence of how rare a prodigy she was. The surrealist’s sense of the word marvelous certainly applies to these strange creations.

Here is a taste of the text “Filial Devotion”…

He now found himself in the middle of a large lake where furniture made of mahogany, spruce and rosewood swam.Young girls in their panties gently fought each other by now and again blowing on their flushed arms.The man believed he recognized one of his daughters. But thinking it was only a hallucination, he retreated by swimming up to the adjoining door.There, he found himself in the presence of a very large and hairy stag.The stag’s eyes slowly became bigger and bigger as they gradually feasted on his whole egg-shaped face.

Only 85 copies are available for purchase.

Please click here to order.

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Ellen Nations, translator and photographer, grew up in Norway and has for many years made her home in the San Francisco Bay Area where she lives with her husband Opal Louis Nations. Together they published the experimental literature and art magazine Strange Faeces. In addition to her translations of Gisèle Prassinos, she has  translated works  by Alain Jouffroy, Paul Nougé, Raymond Radiguet, Joyce Mansour and others.

Bruce Hutchinson created the watercolor paintings in Surrealist Texts while in his mid-20s as part of his weekly correspondence with Opal and Ellen Nations. He wrote his letters on small pieces of paper with ink drawings on one side, original watercolors on the other. His artwork has appeared in many small press publications.