The Unruly Bridal Bed and Other Grotesques

The Unruly Bridal Bed and Other Grotesques


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Translated, with an introduction, by W. C. Bamberger / July 2017 / 4.5 x 7, 96 pp. / 978-1-939663-26-9

Originally published in 1921, The Unruly Bridal Bed brings together ten grotesques from the alter-ego of the founder of “Creative Indifference,” and includes such indefinable tales as “Tobias and the Prune,” “Plant Paternity,” “The Dissolute Nose,” “Fried Sphinx Meat,” and “The Great Gold-Plated Flea.” Under his literary pseudonym Mynona (a palindrome for the German “Anonym,” or “Anonymous”), Salomo Friedlaender here displays his unique brand of philosophical slapstick that blends fairy-tale technology with proto-metafiction and at times unsettling meditations on fornicating plants, aristocratic eugenics, spiritual and physical hermaphroditism, and our excremental sun. With its companion volume of grotesques, My Papa and the Maid of Orléans, this collection offers a perfect introduction to the great German humorist’s work.

“Mynona created a new kind of literary genre, which not only went beyond the inventions of Scheerbart but which also anticipated Dada, surrealism, and above all, contemporary literature of the absurd.”—Kurt Tucholsky

Mentioned in his day in the same breath as Kafka, Mynona, a.k.a Salomo Friedlaender (1871–1946), was a perfectly functioning split personality: a serious philosopher by day (author of Friedrich Nietzsche: An Intellectual Biography and Kant for Kids) and a literary absurdist by night, who composed black humored tales he called Grotesken. His friends and fans included Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin, and Karl Kraus. He died in Paris, ill and in poverty, after Thomas Mann refused to help him emigrate to the United States.


“These are disposable formal scraps, best indigested (and Mynona was obsessed with the stomach, bowels, with consuming) on the train or bus, composed for speed and glued onto life in the megalopolis.”
—Martin Billheimer, Counterpunch

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