Wakefieldhorizontal
CATALOG FORTHCOMING SERIES AUTHORS ORDERING CONTACT T-SHIRTS

Forthcoming Titles

balzac

The Physiology of the Employee
Honoré de Balzac
Translated, with an introduction, by André Naffis-Sahely
Illustrations by Louis Joeph Trimolet

Originally published in 1841, Honoré de Balzac’s ferocious little Physiology of the Employee was one of the first texts to analyze the growing phenomenon of bureacracy and its unsettling ability to congeal any form of action. An anecdotal and axiomatic guidebook to the different characters and functions to be found in the office setting, Balzac's humorous (and illustrated) physiology—never before translated—offers a remarkably contemporary portrait of life at the desk.

More information

GRD

The Emperor of China, The Mute Canary, and The Executioner of Peru
Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes
Translated, with an introduction, by Christopher Butterfield
2014

Three savage plays from the man André Breton designated as one of the only “true Dadas” (alongside Tristan Tzara and Francis Picabia): The Emperor of China (1916), The Mute Canary (1920), and The Executioner of Peru (1928). In their brutal depictions of violent sexuality and nightmarish tyranny, these plays remain highpoints in the Dada movement's contribution to the theater, but were also anticipations of Antonin Artaud's Theater of Cruelty and the Theater of the Absurd of the 1960s—not to mention the years of absurdist horror that the twentieth century still had waiting in the wings after World War I.

More information

mynona

The Creator
Mynona
Translated, with an introduction, by Peter Wortsman
Afterword by Detlef Thiel
Illustrations by Alfred Kubin

Salomo Friedlaender (1871–1946) was both a serious philosopher and a bohemian “debauchee,” who once described himself as a synthesis of Immanuel Kant and Charlie Chaplin. He wrote under two names: his own for his more philosophical work (which included such books as Creative Indifference and Kant for Kids), and Mynona (the German word for “anonymous” backward) for the stories he labeled as “grotesques.” The Creator, first published in 1920 and illustrated throughout by his friend Alfred Kubin, is his most sustained grotesque: a tale of angel breeding and dream technology that explicates Friedlaender’s notions of Kantian idealism through the lens of E. T. A. Hoffmann.

More information

zurn

The Trumpets of Jericho
Unica Zürn
Translated, with an introduction, by Christina Svendsen

This fierce fable of childbirth by German surrealist Unica Zürn was written after she had already given birth to two children and undergone the self-induced abortion of another in Berlin in the 1950s. Never before translated into English, this novella dramatizes the frontiers of the body—its defensive walls as well as its cavities and thresholds—animating a harrowing and painfully, twistedly honest depiction of motherhood as a breakdown in the distinction between self and other, transposed into the language of darkest fairytales.

giseleprassinos

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.

schwob

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.

michaux

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.”

PourbustheYoungerMarino

The Massacre of the Innocents
Giambattista Marino
Translated, with an introduction, by Erik Butler

A finely crafted epic poem and literary monstrosity from the seventeenth-century “poet of the marvelous”: the harrowing account, in four parts, of King Herod and his campaign to murder the infants of his kingdom. A tale of sacred horror that describes unbelievable cruelty while championing the nobility of suffering, all brilliantly presented in ottava rima.

Bloy

Disagreeable Tales
Léon Bloy
Translated, with an introduction, by Erik Butler

Tales of theft, incest, murder, and cruelty from the “ungrateful beggar” and “pilgrim of the absolute,” Léon Bloy. Disagreeable Tales, first published in French in 1894, collects Bloy’s sermons from the depths: a cauldron of frightful anecdotes and inspired misanthropy that represents a highpoint of the French decadant movement and the most emblematic entry into the library of the “Cruel Tale” christened by Villiers de l’Isle-Adam. Said Franz Kafka: “[H]is fire is nurtured by the dung-heap of modern times.”

willems

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.

Wittkop1

Murder Most Serene
Gabrielle Wittkop
Translated, with an introduction, by Louise Rogers Lalaurie

A gamey novella from the self-styled modern female heir to the Marquis de Sade: in the last days of the Venetian Republic, the serial wives of Count Alvise Lanzi suffer mysterious, agonizing deaths. A cruel portrait of a beautiful, corrupt city state and its equally extravagant, cruel, and corrupt inhabitants. Redolent of darkness, death, corruption, poison, and transgression, Murder Most Serene is also an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek Venetian romp.

scheerbarthead1

Rakkóx the Billionaire and The Great Race
Paul Scheerbart
Translated, with an introduction, by W. C. Bamberger

Two novellas from the anti-erotic inventor of perpetual motion: Rakkóx the Billionaire, a “Protean Novel” that tells the tale of a multi-billionaire obsessed with realizing such militaristic fantasies as the utilization of herring in submarine warfare; and The Great Race, a “Development Novel in Eight Different Stories,” which describes an intergalactic competition among worm spirits wishing to separate from their stars, in a race whose winners will be transformed into gods.

WITTKOP2

Exemplary Departures
Gabrielle Wittkop
Translated, with an introduction, by Annette David

Five exquisitely wrought novellas depicting five “exemplary” deaths in various exotic locations around the globe: a gentleman spy disappears with his secrets into the Malaysan jungle; a young woman agonizes atop a ruined castle overlooking the Rhine; a writer succumbs to alcoholism in the streets of Baltimore; a salesman expires as a vagabond in the sewers of New York; and hermaphroditic twins are assassinated in a stagecoach. A true modern inheritor of the legacy of the French Decadent writers, Wittkop spins these tales with her trademark macabre elegance and chilling humor.

AUTHORS