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.
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.
The Voyage of Horace Pirouelle
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 Voyage 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.
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.
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.
The Tower of Love
Translated by Jennifer Higgins
Rachilde’s 1898 novel concerns a young sailor who is appointed as assistant keeper at a lighthouse off the Brittany coast. His complete isolation, shared with a disturbingly strange lighthouse keeper hiding all manner of dark secrets, opens up a nightmarish world of sexual abberation and hallucinatory morbidity.
Dr. Mises AKA Gustav Theodor Fechner
Translated, with an introduction, by Erik Butler
While Gustav Theodor Fechner was a professor of natural philosophy and anthropology and is remembered as the godfather of panpsychism and founder of psychophysics who would count William James and Sigmund Freud among his readers, his pseudonymous Dr. Mises engaged in more fantastical and imaginative thought exercises that would instead draw the interest of Alfred Jarry. Stapelia Mixta, first published in German in 1824 and never before translated, offers a series of increasingly inventive essays that start with a relatively disgestible “Encomium of the Belly” and “The World Upside-Down” before developing into a complicated, pre-pataphysical exploration of Spatial Symbolism.
Foreword by René Daumal; translated, with an introduction, by Terry Bradford
Léon-Paul Fargue's 1928 publication of Vulturnus represented a shift in the career of the Symbolist heir, secret geographer, and "pedestrian of Paris": an undefinable prose poem of sorts that offered newly forged language to outline a cosmic journey through the strata of a metaphysical paradise. This first English translation is accompanied by a glowing essay by René Daumal, who proclaims: "Vulturnus suffocates me with evidence."
Translated, with an introduction, by Jamie Richards
49 fables composing a gallery of writers who contribute absolutely nothing to society, scientifically organized and categorized in accordance to the seven deadly sins and seven contingencies of life. From the scholar of eccentricity and author of Brief Lives of Idiots, Ermanno Cavazzoni.
The Science of Love and Other Texts
Translated, with an introduction, by Doug Skinner
The collected scientific fictions and fictional science of the inventor of the paléphone and color photography, from the titular account of a young man's scientific study of the condition of love to an early effort at conceptualizing communication with extraterrestrials.
The Answer to Lord Chandos
Foreword by Jean-Luc Nancy; translated by Stephanie Boulard and Timothy Lavenz
Pascal Quignard's considered response to Hugo von Hofmannsthal's famous 1902 "Lord Chandos Letter," describing the crisis of confidence in literature at the turn of the century. A passionate rejection of silence and a timely intervention in today's ongoing, mutating crisis of the humanities.
Alexander M. Frey
Translated, with an introduction, by W. C. Bamberger
Four tales from 1924 Weimar Berlin featuring an assortment of characters depicted with dry humor and macabre compassion. The title story features Phantomata, a female automaton (preceding Fritz Lang's Metropolis by several years), who chooses a paraplegic as a lover.
The Hashish Films of Customs Officer Henri Rousseau and Tatyana Joukof Shuffles the Cards
(A Novel against Psicho-Analise)
Translated, with an introduction, by W. C. Bamberger
An early and obscure 1916 work by Emil Szittya, friend and colleague of Blaise Cendrars, the Zurich Dadaists, and many other protagonists of the European avant garde: synesthetic, episodic prose poems allegedly generated by hashish hallucinations.
With Their Hearts in Their Boots
Translated by Alex Andriesse
Georges Maman: a down-and-out actor sinking into despair and scraping by on work in the porno industry; Dagonard, a loudmouth camera assistant who doesn’t know when to shut up. Jean-Pierre Martinet’s last work relates a night in Paris shared by the two: a sordid, cynical, and disturbingly humorous descent into the hell of failure and the company we keep there.
Translated, with an afterword, by K. E. Gormley
An editor at a Parisian publishing house receives a pseudonymous manuscript that bears an eerie resemblance to his own life and the book he's been thinking of writing. His search for the author in a countryside village spins into an exuberantly byzantine narrative of long parenthetical and odd circumlocutions. This 1977 post-nouveau roman novel blends reality and fiction into an unsettling and ingeniously fractal Möbius strip.
On Homo rodans and Other Writings
Translated, with an introduction, by Margaret Carson
A new, expanded volume of our previously published collection of Remedios Caro's writings: letters, dreams, notes, recipes, exercises, and projects, along with newly discovered writings and short stories never before published in any language.