The first PUBLICATION IN ENGLISH
of Jarry‘s OUTRAGEOUS comic operetta
TRANSLATED BY DOUG SKINNER
Absurdist Texts & Documents #37
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.
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
We proudly raise the curtain on this new collection by Eckhard Gerdes—three plays in a variety of styles which challenge preconceptions and subvert complacency.
Who knew that novelist Eckhard Gerdes was also a playwright? Members of the audience who saw the absurdist play ’S a Bird first performed at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago in 1994 did, and they almost died laughing in the process. The children of King-Edison Elementary School in Macon, Georgia, did when they argued about who would get to play which character in Clockwise in their school production in 2000. And a few dozen close friends of Eckhard Gerdes did when they read the script of The Death of Anton Webern, a play that has until now never been published or performed. These three plays offered here are very different from one another, but all show that distinctive voice and personality for which the writing of Eckhard Gerdes has become known. Enjoy these glimpses into the mind of one of America’s most innovative novelists as he depicts the drama and absurdity of human relationships.
“A writer clearly impatient with the currently devalued conventions of modern writing. His work is a fresh wind!” —Michael Moorcock
THREE PLAYS BY ECKHARD GERDES
5.06″ x 7.81″ (12.852 x 19.837 cm)
trade paperback; 132 pages
Black Scat Books is proud to add D. Harlan Wilson to its list of luminaries. This is the renegade author’s first collection of plays, and it’s guaranteed to provoke standing ovations — or perhaps we should say “fistfights in the orchestra” as Jarry’s Ubu Roi did so long, long ago.
Over the last two decades, D. Harlan Wilson has established himself as a writer of avant-garde fiction that has been called many names, ranging from speculative, literary and postmodern to irreal, bizarro, absurdist and “splatter-schtick.” Some say he defies categorization and is a genre unto himself. In THREE PLAYS, Wilson subverts traditional forms of stagecraft, unmans the helm of narrative, and exposes the nightmares that distinguish everyday life in urban and suburban America. Channeling Samuel Beckett and Jon Fosse in one scene, Russell Edson and Alfred Jarry in the next, he subjects actors as much as audiences and readers to mindless violence and torrid irrationality under the auspices of literary theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy and science. These plays belong more to an ultramodern zoo than a modern-day theater. In “The Triangulated Diner,” a Camero fishtails across the stage and runs over actors as jungle animals attack the audience. An elephant is hung onstage by a crane for stomping on the head of an abusive handler in “The Dark Hypotenuse.” “Primacy” finds a husband and wife struggling to write the perfect obituary, ideally one that includes wuxia death matches and flying holy men . . . This collection describes a microcosm that is at once uncanny and familiar, weird and ordinary, comedic and horrific. Wilson puts the human condition on trial and challenges us to view theatrics in a different light.
Here’s our last-minute shoppers guide. There’s still time to order some sublime Scat before it’s too late. Here are our recommendations by category.
COMIC BOOK: A NOVEL
by Alain Arias-Misson
Ancient Zombie Smut:
THE ZOMBIE OF GREAT PERU
by Pierre-Corneille Blessebois
Theatre of the Absurd:
by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
Imaginary Interviews with Artists:
by Carla M. Wilson
THE BLAIREAU AFFAIR
by Alphonse Allais
THE DOUG SKINNER DOSSIER
by Doug Skinner
Literary Humor / Sports
DANTE’S FOIL & OTHER SPORTING TALES
by Mark Axelrod
Off-beat First Novel
SWEET AND VICIOUS
by Suzanne Burns
Absurdist Short Stories
AN INCONVENIENT CORPSE
by Jason E. Rolfe
AN EROTICS OF SEEING
by Doug Rice
Film Noir / Film Studies / Absurdism
REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS
by Norman Conquest
Contemporary Erotic Fiction:
THE NEW URGE READER 2: EROTIC FICTION BY NEW WOMEN WRITERS ORDER
Victorian Erotic Fiction
HIDDEN GEMS: THE BEST OF THE PEARL
Reference / Humor
GUSTAVE’S POCKET DICTIONARY
by Richard Kostelanetz
by Yuriy Tarnawsky
On the 4th of July, Black Scat Books celebrated three years of publishing. In that short span of time we’ve released nearly 100 titles, which may make us seem bigger than we are. We’re still a small, independent press that barely scrapes by each month. Word of mouth is very important to us as that’s how most of our readers discover us, i.e., a friend whispers in their ear. We invite you to pass the good word along. And if you aren’t following this blog, please enter your email address on this page and subscribe— that way you’ll always know what’s waiting in the wings.
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