THE IDIOT GETS A RAVE

“Every time I write about Doug Skinner’s translations of Alphonse Allais – the new one is I Am Sarcey  – I say that Allais’s humor columns and so on ought to be period pieces, historical ephemera, but are better than that, are good.  Still funny; still fun.  This is my only idea about Allais, apparently.  If anything this is even more the case with I Am Sarcey – more ephemeral yet not, but even more so.’

Wuthering Expectations

CLICK HERE to read the complete review.

And then CLICK HERE and enjoy the book for yourself.

The Sporting Life!

This collection of sporting tales mashes literary history and sports lore into a satirical inferno—skewering academic jargon and postmodern analysis with a razor-sharp, poison-tipped foil. Axelrod mischievously injects the ancients with steroids and offers statistics to prove how little we know about the origin of our favorite pastimes. Inside you’ll discover the “Baudelaire-Bird Connection or, How the Boston Celtics Got To Be That Way”; the obscure “Russian Sport of Face Slapping”; “Metaleptic Parabasis or, the Fine Art of High Jumping”; “Jai-Alai Machu Picchu,” and many other strange feats of Physical Lit-ness. Arm yourself with these tales and head to the nearest sports bar or poetry reading and laugh your ass off.

Dante’s Foil & Other Sporting Tales
by mark axelrod

150 pp., trade paperback, $12.95

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

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

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.

april

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…insane!

screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-12-54-00-pm
These plays, plays by Axelrod, Mark, the other Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, his plays, are. And are the plays of Axelrod, no
t the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, and are the plays of Axelrod, Axelrodian.  Yes, in all manner of speaking, speaking high or low, they are and you, the Reader, Reader of Axelrod, not the one who worked for Obama, Obamaless, the other Axelrod, should read these plays with relish. For without relish, they would not be as absurd.
—Samuel Beckett


Can Superman avoid deportation?

Will Van Gogh survive an IRS audit?

Does Donald Trump talk to himself?

Has the world gone mad?

This outrageous and timely collection confronts our contemporary nightmares with devastating wit and insight. In the provocative title play, Superman stands trial as an illegal alien. In “A Colloquy of Birds,” Axelrod takes aim at a flock of notorious Republican women — the “politically effete.” And just when you thought it was safe to applaud, experience the maniacal monologues of Chairman Trump.

Here are eight rousing absurdist dramas destined to be modern classics.

SUPERMAN IN AMERICA & OTHER ABSURD PLAYS
by Mark Axelrod
Trade paperback, 354 pp.,  $16

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ON AMAZON

 


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PUB-NOTES

♦ We will soon be accepting submissions for our online cabaret, le scat noir. 
♦ watch for  a new book by doug rice on september 15th.  here lies memory is truly an unforgettable novel.
♦ alPHONSE allais’s first book (published in france in 1891) was titled A se tordre. this collection of 45 pieces, drawn largely from his contributions to the avant-garde paper  Le Chat Noir, put the author on the absurdist map. presently, our own doug skinner is putting the finishing touches on his translation — double over — which will feature the full volume plus additional texts not included in the original. to make this black scat edition even more special, there are drawings, detailed notes on the texts, and an introduction by skinner. needless to say, we are thrilled to be publishing this first  english translation — a most fitting addition to black scat’s series of books by the master humorist.
 ♦ also on the way … “the obsession issue” of black scat review. this is the magazine’s 16th issue and features eye-opening works by william gibson, Violet Capers, tony duvert, samantha memi, paulo brito, and many others.
♦ finally, don’t miss #32 in our absurdist texts & documents series: TRUE CRIME: The People vs. Rrose Sélavy.  this dada chapbook is destined to be a collector’s item.  
Happy labor day!

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

blazac

“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

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

damsel_final

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.