Sarcey and His Muse

Black Scat author and translator Doug Skinner recently informed us about a book of poems he’s reading  by Raoul Ponchon. One  poem in particular struck his fancy as it’s  about the conservative French drama critic  Francisque Sarcey (1827-1899).  The poem — “Our Uncle’s Aunt” — mocks Sarcey,  saying his reviews were influenced by his elderly aunt. Lucien Boucher‘s illustration .is reproduced here.

Sarcey was the frequent  butt of jokes  by artists and writers  in the pages of the bohemian journal Le Chat Noir. But it was  the brilliant humorist Alphonse Allais who took the mockery to  extremes  and single-handedly transformed the critic into an Ubuesque piñata in a series of columns published under Sarcey’s name. This sustained journalistic prank has been  preserved in  I AM SARCEY by Alphonse Allais — compiled and translated by Doug Skinner.

 

This is one of the funniest books we’ve ever published — and that’s saying a lot. If you’re looking for a hilarious example of black humor, don’t miss it.

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It’s here!



The book Black Scat was born to publish!


Francisque Sarcey
was the most influential drama critic in 1890s Paris — and the most conservative. He famously dismissed Alfred Jarry‘s Ubu Roi as “a filthy fraud that deserves nothing but the silence of contempt.” The brilliant humorist Alphonse Allais transformed Sarcey into an Ubuesque piñata in a series of columns published under Sarcey’s name in the newspaper Le Chat Noir.

The pseudo-Sarcey became a prattling idiot, bragging about his appetite and complaining about his impotence, a memorable comic character who often eclipsed the original. This sustained journalistic prank — compiled and translated by Doug Skinner — is destined to become a classic of black humor.

Add this gem to your collection and celebrate April Fools all year long.

I AM SARCEY
Alphonse Allais
Translated from the French by Doug Skinner
Includes an  introduction and complete notes on the text
$12.95 / trade paperback, 218 pp.,
BUY NOW

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CLICK HERE to view all the titles in our Alphonse Allais Collection.

And here’s a GIFT, the April Fools Issue of LE SCAT NOIR.
PREVIEW AND DOWNLOAD HERE

The Idiot Hath Arrived!

No, not that idiot, this idiot…

How I Became an Idiot

Esteemed French drama critic (and the butt of derision at the cabaret Le Chat Noir), Francisque Sarcey reviewed the premiere of Alfred Jarry‘s Ubu Roi with this visionary verdict: ”…a filthy fraud which deserves nothing but the silence of contempt.”

Writer and humorist Alphonse Allais transformed Sarcey into an Ubuesque piñata in a series of wicked columns published under Sarcey’s name in the newspaper Le Chat Noir. 

Never before in English, this rare collection is introduced and translated from the French by Doug Skinner. Edition limited to 60 printed copies. #00 in our Black Scat Classics sub-series.

How I Became an Idiot reminds me of Félix Fénéon’s excellent Novels in Three Lines… the unexpected is suddenly present, and there is rudeness, as well as a savagery of attack that we simply can’t imagine anyone doing to any well-known columnist of today and getting away with it.”
—Jeff Bursey, author of Verbatim: A Novel
Prepare yourself for some nasty laughs.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: THIS TITLE IS OUT OF PRINT.

There will be no June Gloom here…

ubu

Get out your markers and circle June 1st. That’s publication day for How I Became an Idiot by Francisque Sarcey. Sarcey (1827-1899) was an esteemed French drama critic and the butt of derision at the cabaret Le Chat noir. He reviewed the premiere of Alfred Jarry‘s Ubu Roi with this visionary verdict: “…a filthy fraud which deserves nothing but the silence of contempt.”

Yes, he was a visionary idiot.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S IRONY.

In the good hands of Alphonse Allais, Sarcey became an Ubuesque piñata for the avant-garde artists and writers of Montmartre. The absurdist master wrote a series of wicked columns for the newspaper Le Chat noir under the name Francisque Sarcey and, as you might imagine, merdre hit the fan. Pies and fists were flying and high society was aghast.

Be prepared for some nasty laughs in How I Became an Idiot. Never before in English, this rare collection has been translated from the French by the great Doug Skinner and is being issued in an extremely limited edition of 60 copies.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE:  THIS TITLE IS OUT OF PRINT

idiot

Read more about forthcoming Interim Editions on the Bookends page here.

good_pschitt