Three Plays by D. Harlan Wilson

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Black Scat Books is proud to add D. Harlan Wilson to its list of luminaries. This is the renegade author’s first collection of plays, and it’s guaranteed to provoke  standing ovations — or perhaps we should say “fistfights in the orchestra” as Jarry’s Ubu Roi did so long, long ago.

Over the last two decades, D. Harlan Wilson has established himself as a writer of avant-garde fiction that has been called many names, ranging from speculative, literary and postmodern to irreal, bizarro, absurdist and “splatter-schtick.” Some say he defies categorization and is a genre unto himself. In THREE PLAYS, Wilson subverts traditional forms of stagecraft, unmans the helm of narrative, and exposes the nightmares that distinguish everyday life in urban and suburban America. Channeling Samuel Beckett and Jon Fosse in one scene, Russell Edson and Alfred Jarry in the next, he subjects actors as much as audiences and readers to mindless violence and torrid irrationality under the auspices of literary theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy and science. These plays belong more to an ultramodern zoo than a modern-day theater. In “The Triangulated Diner,” a Camero fishtails across the stage and runs over actors as jungle animals attack the audience. An elephant is hung onstage by a crane for stomping on the head of an abusive handler in “The Dark Hypotenuse.” “Primacy” finds a husband and wife struggling to write the perfect obituary, ideally one that includes wuxia death matches and flying holy men . . . This collection describes a microcosm that is at once uncanny and familiar, weird and ordinary, comedic and horrific. Wilson puts the human condition on trial and challenges us to view theatrics in a different light.

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The official publication date is March 15th, but ADVANCE COPIES ARE AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon. CLICK HERE to order.

THREE PLAYS BY D. HARLAN WILSON
Trade paperback; 160 pages; $12.95
ISBN-13: 978-0692631539

Cover photograph by Lodiza LePore / DESIGN BY NORMAN CONQUEST

Alphonse Allais—LIVE!—On Stage!

OK, that’s hyperbole, but here’s the next best thing to Allais’s reincarnation.

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Please take your seats…STANDING ROOM ONLY.

This long awaited collection of rare theatrical texts includes original translations—never before published in English—of ten monologues, three one-act plays, and twelve shorter dialogues, skits and burlesques drawn from Allais’s columns in such publications as Le Chat Noir  and L’Hydropathe.

In addition to Doug Skinner’s fascinating notes on the texts, you’ll find an appendix of scarce photographs from the Paris production of “Le Pauvre Bougre et Le Bon Génie.”

Here’s a peek at the Playbill…

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This unique collection of absurdist gems is proto-Dada at its most delicious!

Available in a trade paperback edition; 124 pp. Illustrated. $12.95

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Move over, Jarry!

The Wait is Over!

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

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The literary event of the season has arrived—Mark Axelrod’s sublime translation of this obscure (but highly influential) comedy by Honoré de Balzac.

Originally presented under the title Mercodet or The Good Businessman, this play in three acts was perhaps the inspiration for the unseen character in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.

102 years before Godot ‘s debut, Mercodet opened at the Theatre du Gymnase-Dramatique in Paris on August 24, 1851. Curiously enough, it featured a character named “Godeau” who never appears.

A comic coincidence? One of life’s little absurdities? Translator Mark Axelrod was determined to find out.

He met and corresponded with Beckett. And in Waiting for Godeau we present a rare, unpublished letter from Beckett  in which the burning question is answered.

Or is it?

You be the judge.

Waiting for Godeau
by Honoré de Balzac
Translated from the French by Mark Axelrod

Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 22
138 pp. Edition limited to 250 copies
$25.00

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

In the wings, some special things (third edition)…

Scat addicts (of which I’m one) will get their fix and kicks in the coming months. What would winter be without a stack of Scat on the bedside table? Bleak indeed. So cheer up & gear up… good reading is on the way.

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On October 15th we’re releasing a limited edition of the play that may have influenced Samuel Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT. This deluxe edition of Balzac‘s 3-act comedy WAITING FOR GODEAU (Original title Mercodet) is translated from the French by Mark Axelrod. This launch is bound to make waves so circle the date in red.

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In November, we’re publishing two Black Scat Classic Interim Editions.
First,  a portfolio of cool nudes by the Austrian painter Monika Mori (known internationally as “Moo”). These dazzling abstract forms are at once playful, moody & seductive. Don’t miss MOO NUDESa lush, erotic celebration of the female body.

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Also in November, the legendary Opal Nations returns with some wicked (and we do mean wicked) visual black humor:  EMBRYO WORLD.  It’s sure to piss off the Right-to-Lifers and thrill the rest of us.

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December, we raise the curtain on the Théâtre de l’Absurdea  limited edition of a hilarious little Patchenesque drama: ‘S A BIRD by Eckhard Gerdes. No spitting in the balcony.

Finally, for fans of Alphonse Allais, our sublime trade edition is AVAILABLE HERE.

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