Ceci n’est pas Magritte

Move over Mona Lisa, the subject of René Magritte’s classic painting Le fils de l’homme (1964) has been transformed into an iconic  Everyman — forced to confront the forces of contemporary life.

Portuguese artist Paulo Brito reanimates the  mysterious figure in a series of satirical  collages you won’t soon forget.

The future of Dada is here!

SONS OF MAN
by Paulo Brito
with a preface by mercie pedro e silva
Absurdist Texts & Documents No. 33
Illustrated, full color; perfect-bound; $15
$5 digital edition

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Think Spring!

idiotLooking ahead (no pun intended) to April, it’s going to be a Scatastic  month. Back in 2013, we issued a little limited edition chapbook titled HOW I BECAME AN IDIOT by Francisque Sarcey. It was actually written by the brilliant French humorist Alphonse Allais, who signed Sarcey’s name to a series of columns that appeared in the bohemian journal Le Chat Noir. Sarcey, a well-known drama critic, became the butt of jokes among the literati for his stodgy, conservative views (e.g., he blasted Alfred Jarry‘s absurdist classic UBU ROI).

Our limited edition sold out quickly, but it was just a sampler. Now Doug Skinner has compiled and translated all the columns in a delicious 200+ paged trade paperback edition: I AM SARCEY.

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These texts reveal Allais at his wicked best and the book is a must-have for fans of hilarious black humor. This volume marks the seventh title in our Alphonse Allais Collection, and our resident Allais scholar, Doug Skinner, provides a sublime introduction and notes on each text.

Only an idiot would pass up I AM SARCEY when it rolls off the press on April 1st.

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Also on tap is a special (redesigned) April Fools Issue of LE SCAT NOIR. You can download a copy on our web site (BlackScatBooks.net) on April 1st for FREE.

No joke!

Mark your calendars.

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GROUNDBREAKING OULIPIAN FICTION

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“…while the writing itself is full of compelling emotional depth, the artistic conceit that makes the novel so unique is in Arias-Misson’s regular appropriation and repurposing of famous literary characters and important passages from literature.” —Rachel Greenberg, SEIN UND WERDEN

A NEW EDITION OF ALAIN ARIAS-MISSON’S EXPERIMENTAL NOVEL

Discover what happens when famous fictional characters surface in the life of a writer. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CHARACTER FROM FICTION is an extraordinary work of  Oulipian imagination.

Alain Arias-Misson has produced an indecently literary novel about a thoroughly picaresque Character. Passages have been plagiarized from a score of great Modernists — from Kafka and Stendhal to Joyce, Austen and Proust, from Strindberg, Constant and Mann to Michaux, Sterne and Beckett, and are woven seamlessly, unidentified, into his “autobiography.” For the Character — a budding author — is the product of those authors whose novels he has been nourished on. Characters step out of their fiction to advise and interfere with his life and he appears on stage in theirs. Where ‘le petit Marcel’s’ nocturnal terrors begin and the Character’s end, or how the Character’s boyhood lusts lead him into the Brussels labyrinth of ladies of the night and how he meets young Daedalus there, already sated in a lady’s embrace, is an open question. The autobiography ends at the age of twenty-one, when like most authors he has read his own most important authors — yet the rest of his life has already been plotted.

This second edition features an afterword by Yuriy Tarnawsky, and is available worldwide on Amazon.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

CLICK HERE to read the rave review in Sein und Werden

“Waiter — another Alphonse Allais — on the double!”

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Black Scat Books is proud to serve up the master absurdist’s inaugural collection,  containing his hand-picked favorites from the pages of Le Chat Noir, the bohemian journal that amused and scandalized Paris. Here you’ll find Allais in the first flush of his comic genius, spinning out elegant and hilarious gems of black humor on suicide, murder, obsession, and adultery. You will meet the philosophical cuckold, the young lady in love with a pig, the inventor of the Tumultoscope, and Ferdinand, the most resourceful duck in literature. Among the highlights is Allais’s most famous story, “A Thoroughly Parisian Drama,” a favorite of André Breton and Umberto Eco. This is the book’s first publication in English, and features seven additional stories from Le Chat Noir, as well as a sublime introduction, notes on the text, and drawings by Doug Skinner.

Belly laughs guaranteed.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

A U T O B I O G R A P H Y OF A CHARACTER FROM FICTION

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Discover what happens when famous fictional characters surface in the life of a writer.

Alain Arias-Misson has produced an indecently literary novel about a thoroughly picaresque Character. Passages have been plagiarized from a score of great Modernists — from Kafka and Stendhal to Joyce, Austen and Proust, from Strindberg, Constant and Mann to Michaux, Sterne and Beckett, and are woven seamlessly, unidentified, into his “autobiography.” For the Character — a budding author — is the product of those authors whose novels he has been nourished on. Characters step out of their fiction to advise and interfere with his life and he appears on stage in theirs. Where le petit Marcel’s nocturnal terrors begin and the Character’s end, or how the Character’s boyhood lusts lead him into the Brussels labyrinth of ladies of the night and how he meets young Daedalus there, already sated in a lady’s embrace, is an open question. The autobiography ends at the age of twenty-one, when like most authors he has read his own most important authors — yet the rest of his life has already been plotted.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CHARACTER FROM FICTION is an extraordinary work of Oulipian imagination.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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self-portrait with toastABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alain Arias-Misson is another character from a fiction by Alain Arias-Misson. He was born in Brussels, grew up from age four in New York,  Greek Literature and philosophy at Harvard, led a nomadic life throughout Europe, North Africa and New York. Lives in Paris and Venice. This is his ninth novel. In Europe he is known for his Public Poems in a dozen cities, and also New York and L.A., as well as his 3D poetry which has been shown in hundreds of galleries and museums around the world. On the other hand, little is known of the author.

Other Black Scat Books by Alain Arias-Misson

Comic Book: A Novel

The Man Who Walked On Air & Other Tales of Innocence

Tintin Meets the Dragon Queen in The Return of the Maya to Manhattan

 

Monsieur Godeau, party of one, your table is waiting…

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“It is upon this one comedy that Balzac can lay any claims as a dramatic artist.”
—The New York Times

If you missed the limited edition published in 2013, the wait is over. Mark Axelrod’s translation of this obscure comedy by Balzac is now available worldwide on Amazon in a handsome paperback edition.

Originally presented under the title Mercadet or The Good Businessman, this play in three acts appears to have inspired the creation of the unseen character in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Indeed, 102 years before Godot ‘s debut, Mercadet opened at the Theatre du Gymnase-Dramatique in Paris and—curiously enough—featured a character named “Godeau” who never appears on stage.

A comic coincidence? One of life’s little absurdities?

The translator met and corresponded with Beckett, and in WAITING FOR GODEAU we present an unpublished letter from Beckett in which the burning question is answered.

Or is it?

You be the judge.

WAITING FOR GODEAU
by Honore de Balzac
Translated from the French by Mark Axelrod
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
trade paperback; 154 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692738108
$12.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

The play’s the thing….

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We proudly raise the curtain on this new collection by Eckhard Gerdes—three plays in a variety of styles which challenge preconceptions and subvert complacency.

Who knew that novelist Eckhard Gerdes was also a playwright? Members of the audience who saw the absurdist play ’S a Bird first performed at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago in 1994 did, and they almost died laughing in the process. The children of King-Edison Elementary School in Macon, Georgia, did when they argued about who would get to play which character in Clockwise in their school production in 2000. And a few dozen close friends of Eckhard Gerdes did when they read the script of The Death of Anton Webern, a play that has until now never been published or performed. These three plays offered here are very different from one another, but all show that distinctive voice and personality for which the writing of Eckhard Gerdes has become known. Enjoy these glimpses into the mind of one of America’s most innovative novelists as he depicts the drama and absurdity of human relationships.

“A writer clearly impatient with the currently devalued conventions of modern writing. His work is a fresh wind!” —Michael Moorcock

THREE PLAYS BY ECKHARD GERDES
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
trade paperback; 132 pages
$12.95

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

 

Right ho! Let the games begin and the plot thicken!

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We can’t think of a better way to kick off the summer than with  the launch of this delightful comic novel by the great P. G. Wodehouse.  Originally published in America in 1919, A Damsel in Distress is vintage Wodehouse—a whimsical romance filled with amusing twists and turns and a cast of memorable characters. The novel was adapted into a Hollywood musical starring Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, George Burns, and Gracie Allen.

This handsome Black Scat trade paperback edition features original illustrations by artist Allen Forrest.

We invite you to stretch out in the hammock with a chilled cocktail and this unforgettable farce.

A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
by P.G. Wodehouse
with illustrations by Allen Forrest

$14.95
Trade paperback; 334 pages
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
ISBN-13: 978-0692724491

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pg2Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881 – 1975) was one of the most popular humorists of the twentieth century. The author of nearly 100 books, he is best known as the creator of the Bertie Wooster and Jeeves series and the novels and stories set at Blandings Castle. In the words of Evelyn Waugh, “Mr. Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.” Indeed, in the wondrous land of Wodehouse a faux pas often constitutes a crisis and the farce of human foibles rules the realm. The master’s intricately designed plots are peppered with potholes for his characters to stumble over, the street signs have all been mischievously switched and identities mistaken – yet all roads lead to a happy end.

Tome of Thrones

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HAPPY MAY DAY!

Black Scat Books is flushed with pride to announce the launch of PISSOIRS, BIDETS, CRAPPERS & THRONES by Adrienne Auvray. This coffee table chapbook for the john features sublime, full color photographs taken by Ms. Auvray on her travels around the globe.

FEATURING SUMPTUOUS SPREADS FROM THE WORLD’S GREATEST HEADS

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The author has devoted her professional career to the documentation and philosophical interpretation of toilets. A student of photographer Thomas P. Ünterbottem, she completed her dissertation at the esteemed Ünterbottem Academy in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1992. Her work has appeared in field journals such as The Lounge, WC-Time, and Heads-Up, and she has served as the Chair of the International Society of Toilets for the last five years.

This collection of provocative photographs is not merely a visual divertissement, but provides a visionary subtext and philosophical approach to life itself. Indeed,  this pictorial exploration and  explication d’image reveals our common humanity at its most fundamental.

After all, life is just a bowl.

Now available in both print and digital editions for collectors,  connoisseurs,  and the scatologically curious.

PISSOIRS, BIDETS, CRAPPERS & THRONES
by Adrienne Auvray
with an introduction by Thomas P. Ünterbottem
5.25″ x 8.25″ – perfect-bound paper, 64 pp., illustrated
with full color photographs
Price: $15  /  Digital edition for  people on the go: $6

CLICK HERE TO ORDER