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Forthcoming Titles

perec2

Wishes
Georges Perec

Translated, with an introduction, by Mara Cologne Wythe-Hall

The collected seasonal greetings from the master of the literary constraint: homophonic translations that raise the mechanics of the pun to the sublime heights of absurdist punishment, rendered here into English in two separate versions: one semantic, one phonetic. A relentlessly playful depiction of language’s fundamental urge to undermine itself.

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remediosvaro

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

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 This collection includes an unpublished interview, letters to unknown people, dreams and notes, a draft for a play, exercises in Surrealist automatic writing, and her longest manuscript, the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

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balzac

Treatise on Modern Stimulants
Honoré de Balzac
Translated, with an introduction, by Kassy Hayden

First published in French in 1839 as an appendix to Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste, Balzac examines the societal impact of five stimulants: tea, sugar, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco. He also describes how to brew a coffee that can help the artist and author find inspiration.

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Whiskey Tales
Jean Ray
Translated, with an afterword, by Scott Nicolay

The first collection of stories, originally published in French in 1925, from the Belgian master of the weird, whose writings charted out a meeting ground between H.P. Lovecraft and Charles Dickens. This first complete translation will be the first in many volumes of Jean Ray's books that Wakefield Press will be bringing out over the coming seasons.

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JeandelaVilledeMirmont

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...

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Samalio Pardulus
Otto Julius Bierbaum
Illustrated by Alfred Kubin

Translated, with an introduction, by W. C. Bamberger

Bierbaum’s 1908 Gothic novella, the first of his Sonderbare Geschichten (“Weird Stories”) offers the account of the blasphemous painter, Samalio Pardulus, whose monstrous artwork stems from his distorted Gnostic outlook in which the grotesque is but the reflection of a grotesque god.

tobobe

Curl
T. O. Bobe
Translated, with an afterword, by Sean Cotter

A melancholic poem and prose portrait of the superhuman Mr. Gică, the world’s greatest barber, as well as of his barbershop: a world that includes opera singers, football players, gladiators, the secret police, fantasies of Edith Piaf, four lost hippies, and a longing for sincerity.

perecroubaudgo

A Short Treatise Inviting the Reader to Discover the Subtle Art of Go
Pierre Lusson, Georges Perec, and Jacques Roubaud
Translated, with an introduction, by Peter Consenstein

Written by a mathematician, a poet, and a mathematician-poet, this 1969 guide to the ancient Chinese game of go was not just the first such guide to be published in France, but something of a subtle Oulipian guidebook to writing. Go a User’s Manual, or how a set of simple rules and constraints can not only lead to infinite complexities, but also an endless array of bad puns.

huysmans

Domesticity
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.

ErmannoCavazzoni

Brief Lives of Idiots
Ermanno Cavazzoni
Translated, with an introduction, by Jamie Richards

A parody of the Lives of the Saints from the Middle Ages, Brief Lives of Idiots offers us a perfect month of 31 portraits of contemporary idiots drawn from real life: fools unable to recognize their family, who fail miserably in their attempts at suicide, are convinced that Christ was an extraterrestrial, or find the experience of a concentration camp to not be so bad.

pawlowski

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.

nerval

Small Castles of Bohemia
Gérard de Nerval
Translated, with an introduction, by Napoleon Jeffries

One of Nerval’s last works: an assemblage of memoir, poetry, and theater he himself culled together from the vagabond fragments of his writing in an effort at posterity and mental stability toward the end of his life. Nerval’s “castles” trace out a thread from his early “Odellettes” to his forays into the theater to the hermetic sonnets with which he concluded his oeuvre.

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The Messengers
Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud
Translated, with an introduction, by Edward Gauvin

In an unnamed country, in an unspecified time, a messenger and his young assistant pursue a dreamlike chain of clues and horror in order to deliver a message sealed in a tube. A Kafkaesque quest told through the lens of Alain-Fournier. One of Chateaureynaud’s earliest works, and winner of the 1974 prix des Nouvelles LittŽraires.

PaulScheerbart

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.

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