JARRY LIVES!

Alfred Jarry spent his brief and turbulent life experimenting with genres of fiction. In his last few years, he created a new fictional form: the absurdist speculative essay. R J Dent’s new English translation of Speculations contains 68 of Jarry’s essays, originally printed between 1901 and 1904 as a series, ‘Spéculations’, in the French journal Le Revue Blanche.

In Jarry’s darkly comic collection of surrealist and satirical prose pieces, the renowned author deploys his characteristic satirical eye and dark humor to devastating effect. These essays range in tone from the wildly comic to the deeply tragic and cover a diversity of subjects, ranging from French Trees to Cannibalism. For Jarry, nothing is sacred; everything is worthy material for his surreal satire; the Passion is presented as a sporting event; buses are the prey of big game hunters, and even the Queen is licked from behind.

A series of sly investigations into fin de siècle France that reads like a beautiful & bloody
handful of paper cuts, splintered essays that turn authority on its head in sharp bursts of
wicked logic, R J Dent elegantly capturing Jarry’s iconoclastic spirit, his scandalous heart.

—Matthew Kinlin

Edible contents:

SPECULATIONS
Alfred Jarry
Translated by R J Dent
Paper; 5.06  x 7.81 inches; 235 pp., $15.95
ISBN 13 979-8-9859996-1-7 

AN ‘ANTHUMOUS’ WORK BY ALPHONSE ALLAIS

The master absurdist is back in LOVES, DELIGHTS, & ORGANS (Amours, délices et orgues). This madcap collection of stories, fables, hoaxes and jokes is pataphysical fun for the literate layabout. This first English translation features 47 sublime textual specimens — PLUS six additional stories, a rousing introduction, and enlightening notes on the translation by Allaisian scholar Doug Skinner. If you’ve yet to discover the bizarre world of Alphonse Allais, you’re in for a treat.

“Allais comes across as a very modern writer, and his work as an experimental enterprise which is exemplary in many ways… it is also quite possible to invoke such writers as Raymond Queneau, Italo Calvino, and Jorge Luis Borges.”  Jean-Marie Defays


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

   Alphonse Allais was born in the Northern port town of Honfleur, in Calvados, on October 20, 1854. He was, therefore, born in the same town as Erik Satie, and on the same day as Arthur Rimbaud. His father was a pharmacist, and sent young Alphonse to Paris to learn the family trade. Young Alphonse mostly cut his classes, and steeped himself in the absinthe-soaked delights of bohemian Montmartre.

   He joined the hard-drinking literary coterie the Hydropathes, accompanied the celebrated prankster Sapeck (Eugène Bataille) on his misadventures, submitted monochromatic pictures to the proto-Dada exhibitions of the Incohérents, and wrote squibs for various ephemeral papers. He became adept, in both word and deed, at the unique Parisian discipline of fumisme: a heady mix of hoaxing, provocation, and iconoclasm, all delivered with deadpan aplomb. Although he’d abandoned chemistry, his scientific credentials gave him a perspective (and persona) that set him apart from the more febrile poets around him. He was often likened to an English schoolmaster, with a placid demeanor that made his wild ideas all the more startling. [from the introduction by Doug Skinner]

P L A Y T I M E

Cover boy: Raymond Queneau

BLACK SCAT REVIEW 23: Wordplay
Bask in the lilt & spew of vowels & consonants, the litter of letters lost & found, visual lipograms, puzzles, puns, and blazing wordplay from the KO Corral.

FEATURING: Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Kevin Brown, Norman Conquest, Brian Coughlan, John Crouse, S. C. Delaney, Paul Forrestal, Ryan Forsythe, Eckhard Gerdes, Penelope Gerdes, Joseph Harms, Amy Kurman, Opal Louis Nations, Angelo PastormerloSteve Patterson, Derek Pell, Agnès Potier, Raymond Queneau, Paul Rosheim, Gerard Sarnat, Doug Skinner, Michel Vachey, Carla M. Wilson, and D. Harlan Wilson.

BANNED IN FRANCE

Charles Baudelaire’s decadent erotic poems caused a scandal when they first appeared in 1857. Both author and publisher were prosecuted for unveiling works that were “an insult to public decency,” and six poems in the collection were suppressed. These so-called indecent works (banned in France until 1949) were: Lesbos; Condemned Women: Delphine and Hippolyta; Lethe; To One Who Is Too Happy; Jewels; and The Metamorphosis of the Vampire— and all are included in this Pocket Erotica edition,
plus 20 more.

Selected Erotic Poems
Charles Baudelaire
Translated from the French by R J Dent
Pocket Erotica No. 21, New Urge Editions
paper chapbook; 64 pp., $12
ISBN 978-1737943037

Charles Baudelaire by Nadar



The Lighter Side of Sade

Did the notorious author of Justine and The 120 Days of Sodom have a sense of humor? 

Indeed he did, and this short story shows a side of the author few have seen. Here is a witty, libertine tale, free of flagellation and sexual perversion. Instead, it reveals a husband’s adultery and a wife’s clever “retaliation.”  

This is a decidedly feminist text and it punctures the double standard still infecting relations between men and women.

Translated from the French by R J Dent.

Comte Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade

Customers in the UK can order the book here

AN ERROR-FILLED TREASURE TROVE!

The long-awaited “errata” issue is now available.

FEATURING WORKS BY: Terri Carrion, Norman Conquest, Caroline Crépiat, Farewell Debut, S. C. Delaney, Jean-Pierre Duffour, Errorbiblioteca, Paul Forristal, Ryan Forsythe, Eckhard Gerdes, Rhys Hughes, Amy Kurman, Alex McKeown, Claudio Parentela, Angelo Pastormerlo, Agnès Potier, Collin J. Rae, C. R. Resetarits, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim, Doug Skinner, Kristine Snodgrass, Linda Klieger Stillman, Corinne Taunay, Michel Vachey, Carla M. Wilson.

Read My Lips . . .

Lawrence Hamilton has selected spicy excerpts from an anonymous English translation of Denis Diderot‘s satiric libertine novel, Les Bijoux Indiscrets (The Indiscreet Toys, 1749). Our edition, titled  From Their Lips to His Ear, is # 6 in the Pocket Erotica series— little,  4 x 6-inch editions, lovingly designed for collectors, yet priced inexpensively.

Denis Diderot was a highly celebrated 18th century French  philosopher & editor of the groundbreaking Encyclopédie. In 1748, in need of  money, he wrote this scandalous and amusing libertine allegory whose hero, a sultan, is in possession of a magic ring. When aimed at female genitals, the ring prompts these private parts to speak — revealing a woman’s deepest sexual desires, experiences, and indiscretions. In this precursor to The Vagina Monologues, the women  are portrayed  as  powerful beings through their liberated  ideas and sexuality.

“…filled with the strings of sexual metaphors (both explicit and concealing) … a linguistic tour de force, a rhetorical experiment in verbalizing the obscene, and a representational puzzle, signaled by that deliberate act of veiling and unveiling.”

FROM THEIR LIPS TO HIS EAR
Denis Diderot
Pocket Erotica No. 6
71 pp., perfect-bound; $10
ISBN 978-1-7356159-1-2

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Hogarth’s Cottage

 “…what makes an artist great is having the courage to provoke and challenge.” The New York Times

 

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PAUL VERLAINE — 2 BOOKS-IN-ONE

Two complete works in one volume by the French “Prince of Poets,” Paul Verlaine. This is the first contemporary English translation, and includes illustrations by Paul-Émile Bécat.

“The two books of poetry translated and presented here are complete, just as Verlaine wrote them – sustained efforts holding to a theme, the same theme: the love between a man and a woman. But it’s not just any love, it’s physical love, as well as emotional love. They are songs lauding sex between a man and a woman. They are refreshingly honest and very modern. Chansons pour elle (Songs for Her) was published in 1891. Odes en son honneur (Odes in Her Honor), in 1893. ” — from the introduction by Richard Robinson.

Songs for Her and Odes in Her Honor
Paul Verlaine
With illustrations by Paul-Émile Bécat
Translated from the French by Richard Robinson
Pocket Erotica [№ 9 ]
paper; 88 pp., $10
ISBN: 978-1-7356159-9-8

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