TALL Tales & Loony Surrealism

Opal Louis Nations’ clever new collection of wordplay and absurdist fiction reveals a remarkable range of styles — parody, pastiche, Oulipian constraints, and Edward Lear-like nonsense verse. There’s even a serious side (see the nonfictional account of the infamous James Boys.) Throughout this compilation — featuring many never-before published works — Nations weaves snippets of autobiography like clues in a parlor game. There is no book quite like this one, with its ribald humor, leaps of language, and loony surrealism. And, of course, many wickedly witty rhymes.

RHYMES FOR SHORT PARENTS WITH TALL CHILDREN
Opal Louis Nations
Illustrations by Norman Conquest
116 pp., $12.95
‎ ISBN 979-8353847977

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
British-born artist, writer, singer and gospel music producer/ researcher Opal Louis Nations was born in Brighton, England in 1941. Close to 600 works of fiction and art have appeared in books and small magazines. One of his earliest texts was published in Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds Magazine in 1969.

He has been awarded both The Perpetua and Pushcart prizes for his fiction and appeared on Yehudi Menhuin’s T.V. series Man And His Music. Some of his graphic works reside at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles as part of the Jean Brown Archive. Over 150 of his music articles covering a wide range of music genres have appeared in music magazines. He has written liner notes to more than 130 CD collections. He produced the Legendary Gospel Specialty reissue series for Fantasy Records in Berkeley and the Nashboro Gospel reissue series for AVI in Los Angeles.

FRENCH HUMOR + WORDPLAY

Alphonse Allais (1854-1905) was France’s greatest humorist. His elegance, scientific curiosity, preoccupation with language and logic, wordplay and flashes of cruelty inspired Alfred Jarry, as well as succeeding generations of Surrealists, Pataphysicians, and Oulipians. THE SQUADRON’S UMBRELLA collects 39 of Allais’s funniest stories — many originally published in the legendary paper LE CHAT NOIR, written for the Bohemians of Montmartre. Included are such classic pranks on the reader as “The Templars” (in which the plot becomes secondary to remembering the hero’s name) and “Like the Others” (in which a lover’s attempts to emulate his rivals lead to fatal but inevitable results.) These tales have amused and inspired generations, and now English readers can enjoy the master absurdist at his best. As the author promises, this book contains no umbrella and the subject of squadrons is “not even broached.”

This sublime translation by Doug Skinner is one of our most popular titles.

About the Author
ALPHONSE ALLAIS (1854 – 1905) began his career in Paris during the Belle Epoque. He was particularly active at the legendary cabaret Le Chat Noir, where he wrote for and edited the weekly paper. He quickly became known for his deadpan wit and inexhaustible imagination. Among other things, he also exhibited some of the first monochromatic pictures (such as his all-white “First Communion of Chlorotic Girls in the Snow” in 1883) and composed the first silent piece of music: “Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man” (1884). Throughout most of his life, he contributed columns several times a week to LE JOURNAL and LE SOURIRE. These pieces were collected into twelve volumes, which he called his “Anthumous Works,” between 1892 and 1902. He also published a collection of his monochromes, ALBUM PRIMO-AVRILESQUE, in 1897, and a novel, L’AFFAIRE BLAIREAU, in 1899, as well as a few plays. His later years were troubled by debt, a bad marriage, and heavy drinking; he died at 59. He was a crucial influence on Alfred Jarry, as well as on the Surrealists: Breton included him in his ANTHOLOGY OF BLACK HUMOR, and Duchamp was reading him on the day he died. Allais’s fascination with wordplay, puns, and holorhymes led Oulipo to call him an “anticipatory plagiarist”; the Pataphysical College dubbed him their “Patacessor.” His books have remained in print in France, and the Académie Alphonse Allais has awarded a literary prize in his honor since 1954.

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]

MIND YOUR MANNERS

Pierre Louÿs wrote this scandalous and salacious satirical work in 1917, yet it wasn’t published until 1926, after his death. Originally titled Manuel de civilité pour les petites filles à l’usage des maisons d’éducation, it was the author’s first published erotic work—issued anonymously in Paris, with no date nor publisher’s imprint.

A Handbook of Manners for the Good Girls of France parodies the educational handbooks of the day, as well as popular guides to etiquette. But unlike the author’s elegantly sensual ouvre, including Les Chansons de Bilitis and Aphrodite: mœurs antiques, this is Louÿs’ most radical and subversive book — aimed directly at middle-class puritanism, mocking the hypocrisy and complacency of the Belle Époque. It attacks religion and social norms with equal vigor— a sharp slap in the face of censors and prudes.

It’s also very funny.

A HANDBOOK OF MANNERS FOR THE GOOD GIRLS OF FRANCE
Pierre Louÿs
Translated from the French by Lono Taggers
Paperback; 70 pp., illustrated; $12
Pocket Erotica #23 / New Urge
ISBN 13 978-1-7379430-6-8


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pierre Louÿs, poet and novelist, was born in Belgium but spent his life in France. He is best known for his erotic works, many with sapphic and classical themes. His most popular titles include Aphrodite: mœurs antiques; Trois Filles de leur mère; Le Trophée de vulves légendaires; Poésies érotiques; La Femme et le pantin; and Les Chansons de Bilitis. His contributions to French erotic literature remain unequaled.

A Dirty Story as You Like It

We’re pleased to present the 14th title in our Pocket Erotica series — a must-have edition for fans of Oulipo and innovative literature.

Oulipo’s interactive concept of “tree literature” was first implemented by Raymond Queneau in his short story “Un conte à votre façon” (A Story as You Like It). In this wickedly clever (and very funny) variation, Kim Vodicka follows in Queneau’s hallowed footsteps with a do-it-yourself text that’s guaranteed to satisfy all-comers.

In A Dirty Story as You Like It, the reader chooses from multiple plots, navigates the course to a satisfying climax, or changes direction whenever the urge strikes. Do all roads lead to ecstasy? Who knows, who cares, because getting there is half the fun.


A DIRTY STORY AS YOU LIKE IT
Kim Vodicka
Pocket Erotica #14
paperback; 40 pp.; $10
ISBN  978-1-73711-1-3


A B O U T T H E. A U T H O R

Kim Vodicka is the spokesbitch of a degeneration, “a softer-spoken, more genteel Lydia Lunch,” according to The Houston Press. She is the author of four full-length poetry collections—most recently, The Elvis Machine (CLASH Books, 2020) and Dear Ted (Really Serious Literature, forthcoming 2022). She is also the author of several chapbooks, including a poetic comic book, a 7” vinyl EP of sound poems, and a book of poetry illustrated by various artists local to Memphis. Additionally, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee and recipient of artist grants from PEN America, Poets & Writers, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and Authors League Fund. Her poems, prose, and visual art have been featured in The Thought Erotic, The New Urge Reader 4, SPREAD, Harbinger Asylum, Forbidden Futures, Best American Experimental Writing, and many others. For the past decade, she has toured the nation performing spoken word with rock’n’roll accompaniment in venues both illustrious and disreputable, including the legendary Sun Studio. Originally from South Louisiana, she lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her beloved cat, Lula. 


MORE FUN…

….than a barrel of Britannicas! — and a lot lighter, too.

Le Scat Noir Encyclopédie et Dictionnaire de la Pataphysique, des arts et du savoir humain, par une société d’hommes et de femmes de lettres contains all the knowledge you’ll ever need to have a successful life of the mind. Profusely illustrated, featuring entries by an international roster of distinguished experts from the arts, sciences, university and academia. It is also the first encyclopedia with cover text in French and entries in English. CLICK HERE to order your copy on Amazon.

“An encyclopedia ought to make good the failure to execute such a project hitherto, and should encompass not only the fields already covered by the academies, but each and every branch of human knowledge.” —Diderot

“Today everyone wants to know everything – and preferably in alphabetical order.” —François Caradec

Le mot encyclopédie a été utilisé en français pour la première fois par Rabelais, mais ce n’est que lorsque Norman Conquest en a édité une qu’il a pris une dimension sublime.”—R. Queneau

Distinguished contributors from around the world include: Adrienne Auvray, Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Norman Conquest, Caroline Crépiat, René Descartes, Peter Gambaccini, Eckhard Gerdes, Charles Holdefer, Rhys Hughes, Tractor Inspector, Alfred Jarry, M. Kasper, Richard Kostelanetz, Amy Kurman, Librairie Larousse, Michael Leigh, Olchar E. Lindsann, Opal Louis Nations, Daren Elsa Nibelly, Dr. Novalis, Pata-No , Richard Peabody, Mercie Pedro, Derek Pell, Charlotte Porter, Frank Pulaski, Jason E. Rolfe, Sourav Roy, Dr. I. L. Sandomir, Paulette Single, Doug Skinner, Maddy Smith, Linda Klieger Stillman, Corinne Taunay, Text Fixer, Kimberly Vodicka, Tom Whalen, Femke van der Wijk, Carla Wilson.

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Wanton Words, Ribald Rhymes, & Naughty Lyrics

AWAY with silks, away with lawn,
I’ll have no scenes or curtains drawn;
Give me my mistress as she is,
Dress’d in her nak’d simplicities:
For as my heart e’en so mine eye
Is won with flesh, not drapery.
—Robert Herrick

A lusty anthology featuring titillating odes by an array of libertine poets of the XVII and XVIII centuries (Robert  Herrick, John Donne, William Congreve, Thomas Campion, et al.)  The works include gentle celebrations of the female sex; witty & whimsical whispers designed to seduce; and urgent pleas of—in the words of André Breton—L’amour fou. In this surreal realm of ribald eros, Virginity is a lost cause and Sexual Pleasure reigns supreme.

Our edition is profusely illustrated —from maidenhead to toe!—with works by more than a dozen artists, including Édouard-Henri Avril, Vivant Denon, Amandine Doré, and Thomas Rowlandson. As volume 8 in the popular Pocket Erotica series, POEMS OF LUST & DESIRE makes a delicious stocking-stuffer for all the libertines on your holiday list.

illustration by André Collot

POEMS OF LUST & DESIRE
by Libertine Poets of the XVII and XVIII Centuries
Pocket Erotica  [№ 8 ]
Illustrated; 110 pp., $12
ISBN 978-1-7356159-8-1

LOOK OUT MAMA, IT’S DEBAUCH-O-RAMA!

“A harsh, hilarious, scurrilous, and scatological satire.”
—Ed Simon, JSTOR Daily

Poet John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, was considered one of the greatest English satirists — a nimble wit and scribbler of sublime wordplay, parodies & pornographic puns.

Hailed by Graham Greene and Ezra Pound, Wilmot is perhaps best known for his outrageous libertine satires, including this wickedly funny Restoration drama.

Originally titled The Farce of Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery, DEBAUCH-O-RAMA is an absurdist “closet drama” – written to be read aloud and not performed.  It consists of five acts in raunchy rhyming couplets and a madcap cast of characters:

CAST

  • Bolloxinion – King of Sodom
  • Cuntigratia – his Queen
  • Pricket – young Prince
  • Swivia – Princess
  • Buggeranthos – General of the Army
  • Pockenello – Prince and favourite of the King
  • Borastus – Buggermaster-General
  • Pene & Tooly – Pimps of Honour
  • Officina – Maid of Honour
  • Fuckadilla – Maid of Honour
  • Cunticulla – Maid of Honour
  • Clytoris – Maid of Honour
  • Flux – Physician to the King
  • Vertuso – Dildo- and Merkin-Maker for the Court

Let the curtain rise and the laughter begin!

DEBAUCH-O-RAMA
A Restoration Closet Drama
by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
Pocket Erotica  [№ 11 ]
65 pp.; paper, perfect bound; 4 x 6 inches; $10
ISBN 978-1-7357646-2-7