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Forthcoming Titles

chazal

Sens-Plastique
Malcolm de Chazal
Translated, with an introduction, by Irving Weiss with a foreword by W. H. Auden

The Mauritian mystic’s masterpiece: over two thousand aphorisms, axioms, and allegories describing a sensual, synesthetic world in which humanity is not just made in the image of God, but in which Nature is made in the image of humanity.

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nerval2

The Illuminated; or, The Precursors of Socialism
Tales and Portraits

Gérard de Nerval
Translated, with an introduction, by Peter Valente

Gérard de Nerval’s 1852 historical portrait gallery of eccentrics, visionaries, and subversives would ultimately formulate the male counterpart to his later and better-known collection, Daughters of Fire. Mapping out what he perceived to be countercurrents to his own tumultuous times, Nerval here offers portraits of Raoul Spifame, the Abbé de Bucquoy, Restif de la Bretonne, Jacques Cazotte, Cagliostro, and Quintus Aucler.

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bealu5

The Impersonal Adventure
Marcel Béalu

Translated, with an introduction, by Michael Cisco

A traveling businessman decides to tarry in an unnamed city, donning a new name and profession on a whim and renting a room in a mediocre hotel on the island lying in the city center, amidst unvisited store fronts and abandoned offices. Béalu’s 1954 novella slowly peels away an oneiric banality to reveal secret drama and doubled lives.

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Jacob

The Central Laboratory
Max Jacob
Translated, with an introduction, by Alexander Dickow

Max Jacob’s 1921 collection of verse followed his earlier foundation book of prose poems, The Dice Cup. An oneiric and experimental poetic laboratory in which “stoppered phials” of rhythm, rhyme, puns, and pastiche compose one of Jacob’s most important volumes.

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Rodenbach

Bruges-la-Morte
Georges Rodenbach
Translated, with an introduction, by Will Stone

The Belgian symbolist’s classic 1892 novella, depicting a fetishistic widower’s doomed love affair with the dead city of Bruges, the urban incarnation of his deceased wife. A perambulatory journey into uncertain streets where Eros and Thanatos exchange masks.

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BorisVian

Vercoquin and the Plankton
Boris Vian
Translated, with an introduction, by Terry Bradford

Boris Vian’s 1947 novel is a delirious satire situated in occupied Paris in which Left-Bank Bobby-Soxers and swing-dancing Zazous cross paths with the standardizing bureaucracy of governmental agencies.

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mynona

Black–White–Red
Grotesques

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

The laughing philosopher’s 1916 collection of grotesques, including “Goethe Speaks into the Phonograph,” “The Magic Egg,” and “Toilet Paper, Toilet Paper!”

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maxjacob

The Dice Cup
Max Jacob
Translated, with an introduction, by Ian Seed

Max Jacob’s 1917 collection is not just his most famous work, but, alongside Arthur Rimbaud’s Illuminations and Pierre Reverdy’s Prose Poems, the most important collection of prose poems of the twentieth century. Its blend of wordplay, hallucination, humor, chance, daydream, and ironic melancholy is at once indefinable and quintessentially Jacob.

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.

ray

The City of Unspeakable Fear
Jean Ray
Translated, with an introduction, by Scott Nicolay

Published only a few months after hiss better-known Malpertuis, The City of Unspeakable Fear is Jean Ray’s only other novel, and one that plays at the margins of the ghost story and the detective novel. A series of inexplicable deaths take place in rapid secession in the improbably serene and imaginary British town of Ingersham...

schwob

Spicilege
Marcel Schwob
Translated, with an introduction, by Alex Andriesse

Spicilege collected together Marcel Schwob’s essays and stands today as one of the secret keys to the era of French symbolism, as well as a direct influence on such writers to follow as Alfred Jarry. It includes biographical essays on François Villon and Robert Louis Stevenson as well as inventive ruminations on such themes as perversity, laughter, love, art, and anarchy.

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.

soupault5

The Journey of Horace Pirouelle
Philippe Soupault
Translated, with an introduction, by Justin Vicari

Written in 1917, two years before he would co-author The Magnetic Fields with André Breton and inaugurate the Surrealist movement, The Journey of Horace Pirouelle was inspired by the disappearance of a fellow student and Soupault’s first reading of Lautréamont, and tells the tale of a Liberian who embarks on a journey into Greenland on a whim. A novella-length tribute to wanderlust and the acte gratuit.

Chateaureynaud1982b

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 Littéraires.

pawlowski

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

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.

burger

Tractatus Logico-Suicidalis
On Killing Oneself
Hermann Burger
Translated, with an introduction, by Adrian Nathan West

The Swiss author’s 1988 collection of 1046 aphorisms advocating suicide: the formulation of his “thanatological” philosophy studying the predominance of death over life, published shortly before he would take his own life.

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