The Three Faces of Masks


Black Scat launched its first book on July 4th, 2012. MASKS by Alphonse Allais was #1 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents  series of limited edition chapbooks. The original volume (above left)—adapted, translated and illustrated by artist Norman Conquest—was  limited to only 50 copies. It sold  out quickly and is a prized collector’s item today.

In 2015, we issued a revised and expanded edition (center) featuring an introduction and notes on the text by Allaisian scholar Doug Skinner.

The first two editions had limited distribution and were only available directly from the printer.  Today we’re launching a third edition of this mischievous pataphysical tale — available on Amazon in North America and Europe.

If you missed this little gem, CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.

View our complete Alphonse Allais Collection

collection new


Sucker Punch Gala in NYC

(photo by Karina Tarnawsky)

If you were in NYC on June 15th and missed the BLACK SCAT SUCKER PUNCH bout between high lit  heavyweight champs Yuriy Tarnawsky (seated)) and Alain Arias-Mission —shame on you! You missed a bloody good reading.

The Emily Harvey Foundation. provided ringside seats,  booze & noisemakers  to an unruly crowd of fans. Tarnawsky threw wicked upper-cuts from his classic collection of “short shrift fictions,” CROCODILE SMILES, while Arias-Misson responded with  a blazing left hook from his new novel THE DETECTIVE WHO DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE.

Alas, both titles are out of print.

Order or Chaos?


Jules Torquemal is a middle-aged civil servant in the Ministry of Education living shortly before the First World War blew up the Belle Époque.  His life is settled and his hobby is philosophizing of the complacent variety.  One day, told by an indignant friend of a petty injustice, Torquemal finds questions he had thought long closed re-opening and the ground slipping beneath him. The world he believed morally moored and logically consistent suddenly appears to him anything but.

The Derangement of Jules Torquemal by Robert Wexelblatt is a wickedly clever (and haunting) philosophical puzzle.

This Black Scat Classic Interim Edition is limited  to 100 copies.  CLICK HERE to order

wexelblatt portrait

Robert Wexelblatt is professor of humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He has published essays, stories, and poems in a wide variety of journals, two story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone and The Decline of Our Neighborhood, a book of essays, Professors at Play, and a short novel, Losses. His novel, Zublinka Among Women, won the Indie Book Awards First Prize for Fiction.


Baffling Illuminations

Of the three modes of communicating their ideas that
human beings possess, viz., speech, gesture, and creative writing, the last one has received the least notice. Indeed, the study of hand-writing when applied to the creation of poetry and short stories is more connected in one’s mind with fortunetelling,
and other forms of popular superstition or deception,
than with scientific investigation; yet there is much to
learn by the study of insane writers.





selected pages from . . .

Wasted Energies, Baffled Thoughts: On the Writing of the Insane
by G. Mackenzie Bacon, M.D.


Are writers insane?


Only a few copies remain of this illuminating—albeit baffling—illustrated edition of Bacon’s text. If you’re considering a career as a writer (or have already taken the plunge), this book is a wake-up call from another century.

If it strikes you as a dangerous book… well, it is.

back cover
back cover

“Utterly baffling, yet brilliant.”  The London Times