Forthcoming Titles


Life in the Folds
Henri Michaux
Translated, with an introduction, by Darren Jackson

Originally published in French in 1949, Life in the Folds stands as Henri Michaux’s most direct (and most violent) depiction of the many forms of suffering: a poetic laboratory of aggressive fantasy and destructive energy in which the artist-poet presents varied devices and methods for dealing with the world around him. Writing from the vantage-point of a tramatized, post-war Europe, these folds also bear the scars of Michaux’s own personal catastrophes, summed up in the wearied, autobiographical testament that concludes the book, “Old Age of Pollagoras.”

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The Cathedral of Mist
Paul Willems
Translated, with an introduction, by Edward Gauvin

A late collection of short stories from the last of the great Francophone Belgian fantasists: distilled tales of distant journeys, buried memories, and impossible architecture. The Cathedral of Mist offers the sort of ethereal narratives that might have come from the pen of a more sorrowful Italo Calvino, and is accompanied by two meditative essays on reading and writing that fall in the tradition of Julien Gracq’s classic Reading Writing.

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The King in the Golden Mask
Marcel Schwob
Translated, with an introduction, by Kit Schluter

Never before translated in toto, The King in the Golden Mask was Marcel Schwob's second book of fiction, and offers a full display of his mastery of the short story and the depth of his erudition: twenty-one tales of murder and suicide, royal leprosy and medieval witchcraft, with eunuchs, Libyan embalming women, and Milesian virgins, all set in a variety of historical periods, from the Ice Age to the years of the Plague.


The Arthritic Grasshopper and Other Tales
Gisèle Prassinos
Translated, with an introduction, by Bonnie Ruberg

First discovered, celebrated, and published by the Surrealists at the age of fourteen, Gisèle Prassinos quickly established herself in the literary world as a fount of automatic tales woven through with transgressive humor and coy menace. “Gisèle Prassinos’s tone is unique,” claimed André Breton, “all the poets are jealous of it. Swift lowers his eyes, Sade shuts his candy box.” The Arthritic Grasshopper gathers together her early literary prose from 1934 to 1944, an assortment of anxious dream tales drawn from journals and plaquettes, introduced and illustrated by such admirers as Paul Éluard and Hans Bellmer.


The Table
Francis Ponge
Translated, with an introduction, by Colombina Zamponi

Written over a series of early mornings from 1967 to 1973, The Table forms a chapter in Francis Ponge’s endless interrogation of the unassuming objects in his life: in this case, the table upon which he wrote. In this labored employment of words to destroy words and get at the presence lying beneath his elbow, Ponge charts out a space of silent consolation beyond scientific objectivity and poetic transport.


Letters, Dreams, and Other Texts
Remedios Varo
Translated, with an introduction, by Margaret Carson

The Surrealist painter’s collected writings, most of which were never published in her lifetime, nor ever before translated into English. This collection includes an unpublished interview, unsent letters to unknown people, dreams and notes, a draft for a play, exercises in Surrealist automatic writing, and her longest manuscript, the extraordinary pseudoscientific De Homo Rodans, a study of a wheeled manlike creature written by the invented anthropologist Hälikcio von Fuhrängschmidt.


The Pig, in Poetic, Mythological, and Moral-Historical Perspective
Oskar Panizza
Translated, with an introduction, by Erik Butler

The pig is the sun... So begins Oskar Panizza’s outrageously heretical and massively erudite essay on the pig, originally published in 1900 in his journal, Zurich Discussions (self-published by Panizza in Switzerland after serving a year in a Munich prison on 93 counts of blasphemy for his play, The Love Council). The author contends, through painstakingly philological argumentation, that the miraculous swine occupies a central, celestial position as the life-giving force animating the entire universe, usurping the place of God as the beginning and end of all things.

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The Sundays of Jean Dézert
Jean de la Ville de Mirmont
Translated, with an introduction, by André Naffis-Sahely

Before his death at the age of 27 on the front lines of World War I, Jean de la Ville de Mirmont left behind one undisputed classic, an understated tale of urban solitude and alienation that outlines the crushing mediocrity of bureaucratic existence. Through his strangely psychogeographical efforts at injecting some content into his life by structuring his days off through a rigorous use of advertising flyers, the character of Jean Dézert emerges as something of a French counterpart to Herman Melville’s own rebel bureaucrat, Bartleby the Scrivener. Save that when it comes to being an existential rebel, Jean Dézert prefers not to...


Sweating Blood
Léon Bloy
Translated, with an introduction, by Erik Butler

First published in French in 1893, Sweating Blood describes the atrocities of war in thirty tales of horror and inhumanity. Written with blood, sweat, tears, and moral outrage, Bloy drew from anecdotes, news reports, and his own experience as a franc-tireur to compose a fragmented depiction of the 1870 Franco-Prussian war, told with equal measures of hatred and pathos, and alternating between cutting detail and muted anguish.

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Munchausen and Clarissa: A Berlin Novel
Paul Scheerbart
Translated, with an introduction, by Christina Svendsen

In this never-before-translated fantasical excursion from the defiantly undefinable Paul Scheerbart, the fabled Baron Munchausen awakens after centuries of sleep, to the delight of young Clarissa, who proceeds to arrange a party to end all parties in his honor. Over the course of a week, the two discuss a range of cultural topics, from glass architecture and painting to music and literature, all within the context of the wonders to be admired in a World Exhibition taking place in Melbourne, Australia.


A Terrace in Rome
Pascal Quignard
Translated by Douglas Penick and Charles Ré, with an introduction by Douglas Penick

A fragmented telling of the tormented life of Geoffroy Meume, a seventeenth-century engraver of encrypted shadows and erotic prints. After having acid thrown at his face by the fiancé of his lover, Meume sets off, deeply disfigured, on a lifetime of wandering. With a face of “boiled leather” and a mind wracked with unrealizable desire, Meume devotes himself to the science of shadows through the black-and-white world of etching and mezzotint, until his past catches up with him.

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Joris-Karl Husymans
Translated, with an introduction, by Purdey Lord Kreiden and Michael Thomas Taren

Huysmans’ semi-autobiographical third novel, pubished in French in 1881, tells the tale of the novelist André Jayant and the artist Cyprien Tibaille: two men struggling between the urges of their body and the urges of their soul, and with the failure of matrimony or the artistic endeavor to fulfil the needs of either. Steeped in sardonic pessimism, this ode to sterility was one of the author’s own favorite novels of his career.


Mademoiselle Bambù
Pierre Mac Orlan
Translated, with an introduction, by Chris Clarke

Mac Orlan’s take on the spy novel, rewritten and expanded four times over from 1932 until its publication in its final form in 1966. Set in Hamburg, London, Palermo, Brest, and other ports of call in the anxious Europe of the 1920s and 1930s, Mademoiselle Bambù tells the tales of three secret agents: the melancholic adventurer and accidental spy, Captain Hartmann; his enigmatic mistress from Naples (and an undercover agent for the Germans), “Signorina Bambù”; and the sinister Père Barbançon.


New Inventions and Latest Innovations
Gaston de Pawlowski
Translated, with an introduction, by Amanda DeMarco

A friend to Alfred Jarry, Alphonse Allais, and Guillaume Apollinaire (and a later inspiration to Marcel Duchamp), Gaston de Pawlowski was the France’s Albert Einstein of humor. First published in book form in 1916, New Inventions and Latest Innovations collects in one volume the endless inventions Pawlowski imagined and wrote up for Le Rire rouge, forming a dizzying catalog of absurd imaginary gadgets and “improvements” to everyday life. An early satire on consumer society and the cult of the inventor, the collection would also become a noteworthy precursor to the sort of imaginary science that would influence the Collège de ’Pataphysique.