Time for Your Dose of Existential Humor

When Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachev steps in front of a trolleybus and is killed, he immediately regrets not looking both ways before crossing the street. It’s one of many deaths Daniil faces in these eighteen absurdist tales. From a mind that wanders too far at lunch, and a madcap chase through St. Petersburg, to a clock that stops time whenever it’s observed, these stories trace not only the lives and deaths of the hero, but the author’s impossible nostalgia for a time, a city and a writer he never knew. Filled with existential humor, this masterful collection explores the thinly-veiled boundary between sense and nonsense. 

“The Many Lives and Countless Deaths of Daniil Ivanovich is an absurdist gem in which Jason E. Rolfe channels the best essences of Gogol and Dosto evsky while authenticating his own unique voice. Uncanny, whimsical, and smart, these interstitial stories and vignettes reminded me that literature isn’t dead yet after all.” —D. Harlan Wilson, author of Outré and The Psychotic Dr. Schreber

“Whether you find this funny or frustrating, I would recommend a few sips of this book from day to day. Taken all at once, it can induce mental chaos, but taken one story at a time, it can promise wide smiles. Jason E. Rolfe might be the most specialized of specialist writers, but he deserves a wide, non-specialized readership.” —Mark Fuller Dillon, author of Ice and Autumn Glass


THE MANY LIVES AND COUNTLESS DEATHS OF DANIIL IVANOVICH
by Jason E. Rolfe
with a Postscript by Paul Rosheim
Trade paperback, 112 pp., $14
ISBN 978-1-7373711-2-0

Available on Amazon in North America, Europe, and Australia


Jason Rolfe writes fiction that is both darkly comic and comically absurd, often using humour to shed light on things he finds philosophically absurd. His publications include the novellas, The Puppet-Play of Doctor Gall (Black Scat Books, 2020) and An Archive of Human Nonsense (Snuggly Books, 2017), and the short story collection, Clocks (Black Scat Books, 2018). His short stories have recently appeared in the anthologies The Neo-Decadent Cookbook (Eibonvale Press, 2020), Bitter Distillations (Egaeus Press, 2021) and Uncertainties V (Swan River Press, 2021). Jason is a frequent contributor to Black Scat Review.

Also available from Black Scat Books:

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.

ARMCHAIR TRAVEL

“You must travel… I can’t travel… I’ll travel”

We are all armchair travelers now. The question is: Where do we go?

If you’re looking for answers, let 28 imaginative writers & artists from around the globe take you places you’ve never been. Find your getaway in BLACK SCAT REVIEW 21 The Travel Issue.

FEATURING: Alphonse Allais, Robert James Cross, Farewell Debut, S. C. Delaney, John Oliver Hodges, Rhys Hughes, Harold Jaffe, E.E. King, Olchar E. Lindsann, Charles J. March III, Carmelo Militano, Opal Louis Nations, Peter Payack, Persefone, Roger Pheuquewell, Agnès Potier, Collin J. Rae, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim, Charles de Rosières, Doug Skinner, Kristine Snodgrass, Ben Stoltzfus, Corinne Taunay, Ed Taylor, Michel Vachey, Tom Whalen, D. Harlan Wilson.

June Buffoonery!

Last month we were tickled pink and apple-green to announce
a new collection by THE master of the absurd, Alphonse Allais
. For June, we’re JUST PLAIN pickled to unleash THIS anthology of unadulterated nonsense — nonsense in all its merry infestations,  from subtle emanations to cartoon lunacy.

LE SCAT NOIR BEDSIDE NONSENSE is profusely illustrated and packed with AMUSING stories, songs, games, WORDPLAY & poesy by an international roster of inspired misfits.

Featuring: Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Angie Brenner, Ken Brown, Norman Conquest, Caroline Crépiat, Haley Dahl,  Farewell Debut, Paul Forristal, Ryan Forsythe, Penelope Goddard, Jean-Jacques Grandville, Simon Hanes, Rhys Hughes, Alexei Kalinchuk, KKUURRTT, Rick Krieger, David Moscovich, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim, Bob Rucker, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Doug Skinner, Terry Southern, Yuriy Tarnawsky, Tom Whalen, and Carla M. Wilson.

It’s the perfect antidote  for  summer lockdown  — and  no mask required.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

back cover

In the Wings, Some Special Things For Spring & Beyond

from LE SCAT NOIR BEDSIDE NONSENSE

As we hunker down in our shelter here in Northern California, we remain busily preparing books to help you endure these terrible times. Alas, the crunch has hit everyone and small, independent bookstores  and presses are struggling to stay alive. Please consider ordering a title or two from our list  here. You can also donate to Black Scat via  this direct PayPal link  which will help us to keep bringing out titles such as the forthcoming works below. Thanks for your support.

“The only book in the English language to rival Tolstoy.”—George Steiner

We recently released two collections of provocative literary essays by British author John Cowper Powys: Powys on Books and Sensations  and Visions Visions Visions. This fall, we’re publishing  the first volume—(over 450 pages!)—of Powys’s extraordinary two-volume novel, Wolf Solent (1929). Eccentric and mystical, this  literary masterpiece was hailed by Henry Miller as “utterly bewitching.”  V. S. Pritchett called it “…a stupendous and rather glorious book… beautiful and strange as an electric storm.” Margaret Drabble said:“Powys’s work is full of paradoxes and surprises.” We’re proud to present this trio of titles in handsome uniform trade paper editions designed by artist Norman Conquest.

 

Nonsense in all its merry Infestations… from euphonic poesy to madcap cacophony

Coming in June, Le Scat Noir Bedside Nonsense is just what the doctor ordered for quarantined readers—a heady dose of innovative silliness and offbeat amusements. Edited by Norman Conquest, the anthology is #39 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents   series—packed with art & texts by Mark Axelrod, Tom Barrett, Ken Brown, Caroline Crépiat, Haley Dahl, Ryan Forsythe, Paul Forristal, Penelope Goddard, Simon Hanes, Rhys Hughes, Alexei Kalinchuk, KKUURRTT, Rick Krieger, David Moscovich, Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim,  Thaddeus Rutkowski, Terry Southern, Yuriy TarnawskyTom Whalen, Carla M. Wilson, and other characters.

A CLASSIC OF EROTIC LITERATURE IN A SPANKING NEW TRANSLATION

Thérèse Finds Happiness by the Marquis d’Argens is the 18th century  precursor  to  the 1967 French novel Emmanuelle. This libertine classic’s potent erotic episodes are interspersed with discourses on a philosophy of pleasure contrasted with  pervasive religious hypocrisy. The novel is noteworthy for its antipathy to the sexual repression of women during “The Age of Enlightenment.” It also happens to be extraordinarily humorous.

Richard Robinson has produced an exquisite new translation of Thérèse philosophe for the  contemporary reader. Thérèse Finds Happiness will be available later this year under our New Urge imprint. 

Also forthcoming from New Urge Editions:  contemporary novels by Jessy Reine and Tom Bussmann. Watch this space for other surprises.

from LE SCAT NOIR BEDSIDE NONSENSE

ECSTASY… NOW MORE THAN EVER

Amid the pain of pandemic, we hope this issue of BLACK SCAT REVIEW provides some welcome relief while sheltering in place.

In Plato’s Dialogue Phaedrus, ecstasy is characterized as divine madness or divine possession, and is considered to be a gift to humanity from the gods. However, we may choose to channel our erotic energies into sexual pleasure or the cultivation and worship of erotic beauty. A transcendent state expressed in poetry, a text, or images. This issue is devoted to the fleeting power of ecstasy in its myriad forms, subtle, unequivocal, or unabashedly palpable.

Contributors include: Peter Ruric, Yuriy Tarnawsky, Eurydice, Catherine D’Avis, Galya Kerns, Doug Skinner, Tom Whalen, Bob McNeil, Nicole Scherer, Tom Bussmann, Paul Rosheim, William Minor, Norman Conquest, Adam Matson, Dynamic Wang, Alexandr Ivanov, Jim McMenamin, Rhys Hughes, Amy Kurman, and Emiliano Vittoriosi.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

AVANT-GUARDIAN!

“Some naive lovers of semantics believe that if only our rulers, our saviours (of all sorts), could understand the meaning of their own pronouncements, they would amend their ways. What an illusion! They, the saviours, know the mechanism of Language much better than all the Semanticists, Linguistic philosophers, and Logical formalists put together. That’s how they know how to use it to play upon the prejudices of the mob: you and me.”

—Stefan Thermerson (from his essay “The Aim of Aims”)

Stefan Themerson (1910-1988) defied simple categories; he was a legendary European writer, publisher, philosopher, and filmmaker. Together with his wife, Franciszka, they founded Gaberbocchus Press, the gold standard for avant-garde literary presses. This collection, edited by Paul Rosheim,  gathers previously hard-to-find texts dealing with many of his principal concerns: ethics, semantics, conformity, misguided prejudice, and intuitive human decency. Also included are drawings by Franciszka, and an insightful introduction by art historian Nick Wadley.

PRAISE FOR STEFAN THEMERSON

“This writer is in the company of Carroll and Queneau, a master of controlled inconsequence…”  —Guardian

“What an extraordinary writer Stefan Themerson is.” —Punch

“Stefan Themerson has an absolutely elegant sense of humor.” —New York Times

CLICK HERE TO ORDER  

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE INTRODUCTION BY NICK WADLEY

In the wings…some peculiar things

Watch for this extraordinary collection of works by the great Stefan Themerson who, with his wife, the artist Franciszka, founded the legendary Gaberbocchus Press  (London, 1948-1979). A poet, publisher, novelist, filmmaker, composer and philosopher, Stefan Themerson was a giant force in the avant-garde of the 20th century. A magus, a magician, his books are filled with wisdom, absurd humor, and dazzling ideas. His  unique vision is more relevant today than ever, and thanks to Paul Rosheim, Black Scat will be bringing you Critics and My Talking Dog: Selected Stories, Essays, Lectures & a Play.   

As the force behind Obscure Publications, Rosheim (with the guidance of British art critic, and founder of the Themerson Archive Jasia Reichardt) published a number of  limited edition chapbooks by Themerson. He is busy  compiling this seminal introduction to Stefan’s texts. The book will also  feature an introduction by noted art historian and artist Nick Wadley.

 



By the author of The Book with the Green Cover, smells like teen ‘pataphysics features signs of the phenomenon, oscillating pyramids, and  luminous vapors. This unexpurgated edition is illustrated with ubu-dystopian charts,  unpublished diagrams, newly discovered schemata, and rare illuminated photographs.  Also included  are Norman Conquest‘s groundbreaking philosophical experiments—triumphs as well as failures— which will inspire  aspiring  illuminati here and abroad.

 

In the wings some special things…

Here at Black Scat we never sleep. As everyone heads off on vacation, you’ll find us huddled around our Macs, bringing  sublime art and literature to print.  There’s plenty of excitement ahead and we’re thrilled to announce these forthcoming releases.

Watch for a collection of works by the great Stefan Themerson who, with his wife, the artist Franciszka, founded the legendary Gaberbocchus Press  (London, 1948-1979).

A poet, publisher, novelist, filmmaker, composer and philosopher, Stefan Themerson was a giant force in the avant-garde of the 20th century. A magus, a magician, his books are filled with wisdom, absurd humor, and dazzling ideas. His  unique vision is more relevant today than ever, and thanks to Paul Rosheim, Black Scat will be bringing you Critics and My Talking Dog: Selected Stories, Essays, Lectures & a Play.   

As the force behind Obscure Publications, Rosheim (with the guidance of British art critic, and founder of the Themerson Archive Jasia Reichardt) published a number of  limited edition chapbooks by Themerson. He is busy  compiling this seminal introduction to Stefan’s texts. The book will also  feature an introduction by noted art historian and artist Nick Wadley.

This is destined to be a Scat classic.

* * *

drawing by Doug Skinner

Doug Skinner‘s delightfully absurd musical instruments appeared each month in the pages of our journal, Le Scat Noir. The artist has now rounded up all these drawings (along with previously unpublished specimens) for his forthcoming collection Instrumentarium. Even if you’re  tone deaf,  this book will have you humming along, clicking your fingers, tapping your feet and laughing out loud.

While you’re waiting, check out Skinner’s hilarious collection of comics, The Unknown Adjective and Other Stories. Originally published in 2014, it continues to be one of our most popular titles. But don’t take our word for it,  look at these raves:

”Witty and ingenious comics from the exceptionally-talented writer, musician, performer, ventriloquist, and cartoonist Doug Skinner. It’s exciting to finally have these little-seen strips available in one beautiful book. You may be reminded of Voltaire or Ernie Bushmiller while reading these meticulously drawn stories featuring utterly hapless characters, but Mr. Skinner has a style all his own.”R. Sikoryak

“Mr. Skinner knows many terrible, terrible secrets about us. We are once again fortunate that he chooses to share them so deftly and so altruistically.”Mark Newgarden

You can grab a copy on Amazon at this LINK.

Stay tuned for more details on these sublime Scat titles. We also have a few surprises in store, so be sure to subscribe to this blog in the right-hand column here and you won’t miss a gem.

drawing by Doug Skinner

Happy Summer!

Brave New World Ahead…


Featuring …

ADRIENNE AUVRAY, PAULO BRITO, Gelett Burgess, norman conquest, Iacyr Anderson Freitas, Pippa Anais Gaubert, ECKHARD GERDES, Russell Helms, Eugene Ivanov, Desirée Jung, Andy Koopmans, Jim Meirose, Angela Pankosky, Peter Payack,  Jason E. Rolfe, Paul Rosheim, Mercie Pedro e Silva, Doug Skinner, Brett Stout, Uwe Taubert.

$5. CLICK HERE to PayPal us and receive a download link. Be sure to include your e-mail address.

Happy New Year!