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 Pastormerlo, Steve Patterson, Derek Pell, Agnès Potier, Raymond Queneau, Paul Rosheim, Gerard Sarnat, Doug Skinner, Michel Vachey, Carla M. Wilson, and D. Harlan Wilson.
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.
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.
On August 17 1911—seven years before Max Ernst took up scissors and paste to create his early Dada art—WHAT A LIFE! was published in London by Methuen & Co. The authors, Edward Verrall Lucas (humorist & travel writer) and George Morrow ( illustrator and regular contributor to Punch), produced their satirical pictorial autobiography using illustrations cut from the pages of Whiteley’s General Catalogue. This inspired act of vandalism was a precursor to many works of avant-garde collage art and satire.
Long out of print in the U.S., Black Scat is proud to bring this proto-Dadaclassic back to life as #34 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series.
WHAT A LIFE ! was exhibited at MoMA’s 1936 “Fantastic Art, Dada, and Surrealism” show.
WHAT A LIFE! seems to have made little impression, either in England or in France, even though it has the remarkable distinction of being illustrated solely by collages drawn from the catalogue of a large department store in London (Whiteley’s), and therefore of being—as much by the images as by the text that they comment on—one of the first manifestations of that spirit we call “modern.” —Raymond Queneau, Bâtons, chiffres et lettres (1950)
The sound of Oulipo Pornobongo 2 stirring in the darkness?
Lunging, thumping, humping…
Yes, sequels are never subtle.
We will be publishing this sequel to the original Anthology of Erotic Wordplay later this year, and are currently searching for appropriate texts spiced with hot oulipian constraints.
If you’d like to view last year’s lovely pornobongo trailer, click here.
A Note of Interest to Pornobongoids:
Tomorrow, New Directions will officially release the 65th anniversary
edition of Raymond Queneau‘s inspirational classic Exercises in Style, translated by the late-great Barbara Wright. This edition includes previously unpublished exercises as well as episodes composed in the author’s honor by Frederic Tuten, Lynne Tillman, Harry Mathews, and others.
A splendid treat, despite a typo on the copyright page that credits Stefan Themerson‘s memorable cover image to “Stephen.”