Forthcoming Titles


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 This collection includes an unpublished interview, unsent letters to unknown people, dreams and notes, a draft for a play, exercises in Surrealist automatic writing, and her longest manuscript, the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 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...


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.


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; illustrated by Gus Bofa

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.

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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.


Imaginary Lives
Marcel Schwob
Translated, with an introduction, by Chris Clarke

Collecting together biographical accounts of such figures of history and legend as “the supposed god” Empedocles, the author Petronius, the pirate Captain Kidd, the painter Paolo Uccello, and the graveyard murderers Burke and Hare, Imaginary Lives effectively invented a new form of narrative fiction—that of the “eccentric encyclopedia”—that would go on to influence an equally broad array of authors, from Alfred Jarry and Jorge Luis Borges (who translated one of these stories into Spanish) to Roberto Bolaño and J. Rodolfo Wilcock. This new translation of Marcel Schwob’s best-known book of stories includes an extra tale excised from the original edition.


Odd Jobs
Tony Duvert
Translated by S. C. Delaney and Agnès Potier, with an introduction by S. C. Delaney

This series of twenty-three satirically scabrous short texts introduces the reader to an imaginary French suburb via the grotesque small-town occupations that once defined a now vanished way of life. A catalog of job descriptions that range from the disgusting functions of “The Snot-Remover” and “The Wiper” to the shockingly cruel dramas enacted by “The Skinner” and “The Snowman,” Odd Jobs offers an outrageous, uncomfortable, and savage sense of humor.

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Tony Duvert
Translated by S. C. Delaney and Agnès Potier, with an introduction by S. C. Delaney

District describes, in ten vignettes, the sad, sordid, and sinister aspects to a section of an unnamed French city, and the manners in which the ghost-like human entities that inhabit, live, and wither within it are molded, moved, and absorbed into its spaces. One of Duvert’s last books, it is also one of his shortest: an unexpected return to the roving, fractured eye of the Nouveau Roman that had informed his earliest work.

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Oscar A. H. Schmitz
Translated, with an introduction, by W. C. Bamberger; illustrated by Alfred Kubin

Hashish, originally published in German in 1902, is a collection of decadent, interlocked tales of Satanism, eroticism, sadism, cannibalism, necrophilia, and death, told by a group of recumbent men in a Parisian “Hashish Club.” A forgotten yet important chapter in the lineage of fantastic literature, this translation of Hashish is illustrated throughout by the author’s brother-in-law, Alfred Kubin.

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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.


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.


The Construction of the Tower of Babel
Juan Benet
Translated, with an introduction, by Adrian Nathan West

The Spanish master’s pentultimate book brings an engineer’s architextual perspective to Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1563 painting of the Tower of Babel: the first painting in European art history to feature a building as a protagonist. Also included is Benet’s essay “On the Necessity of Treason,” which examines the dual nature of the spy.

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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.


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.