October 7, 2007

Boris Vian


boris vian, heartsnatcher

A photo of Boris Vian for my author photo archive. This image comes from the back cover of the Rapp & Whiting edition of Vian's Heartsnatcher (1968; French title: L'arrrache-coeur).

Dalkey Archive recently published an edition of Heartsnatcher.

Jacket design by Lawrence Edwards. Here's the front cover:

boris vian, heartsnatcher, first UK edition

Boris Vian, Foam of the Daze


Brad, the editor of the great Neglected Books site [neglectedbooks.com], posted an annotated list of 20 out-of-print books I made in June of 2000. He added links to all the book titles. I'm going to post images of the books discussed (if I still have them). The permanent link for the list is here.

4. L'Ecume des Jours by Boris Vian (1920 - 1959). English translations:

-- Mood Indigo
(Grove 1968, tran. John Sturrock)
-- Froth on the Daydream (Quartet 1967, trans. Stanley Chapman)
-- Foam of the Daze (Tam Tam Books 2004, trans. Brian Harper)

Tosh Berman of Tam Tam Books is publishing new translations of Vian's books. Here's a link to Foam of the Daze.

Two covers of Froth on the Daydream from Wikipedia (I don't own these editions):


Grove's edition (Front photo credited to Shaumiane Production -- get in touch if you know what that means, because Google isn't helping):




While I'm at it, here are scans of more of Vian's books in English translation.

Tom Recchion (who has a new album out on Birdman) designs Tam Tam's covers:




No designer or illustrator listed for this cover:

Two plays published by Grove:



Illustration by Peter Miles on the below book from Quartet:

Rene Crevel, Difficult Death


Brad, the editor of the great Neglected Books site [neglectedbooks.com], posted an annotated list of 20 out-of-print books I made in June of 2000. He added links to all the book titles. I'm going to post images of the books discussed (if I still have them). The permanent link for the list is here.

3. Difficult Death by Rene Crevel (1900-1935, France).

First published in France in 1926 as La Mort Difficile. David Rattray's English translation was published by North Point Press in 1986. Rattray died in 1993 (I need to check out his
How I Became One of the Invisible immediately) and he held the copyright, so maybe that is why it hasn't been republished. The North Point edition includes an introduction by Rattray and an 8-page foreword by Salvador Dali, written in 1954.

The photograph of Crevel on the cover is by Thea Sternheim. David Bullen designed the cover.


Another photo of Crevel by Sternheim:

Raymond Roussel, Locus Solus

Brad, the editor of the great Neglected Books site [neglectedbooks.com], posted an annotated list of 20 out-of-print books I made in June of 2000. He added links to all the book titles. I'm going to post images of the books discussed (if I still have them). The permanent link for the list is here.

2. Locus Solus by Raymond Roussel (1877-1933, France).

First published in France in 1914. Rupert Copeland Cuningham's English translation first published in the UK by Calder in 1970 (and then in the US by University of California). Reprinted in 1983 in paperback by Calder and Riverrun. Again reprinted in 2003 by Calder/Riverrun (the edition I scanned). Hopefully we won't have to wait until 2023 for another reprint. Print-on-demand is always an option!***

Read Luc Sante's essay/review "The Scientist of the Fantastic" about Roussel, from the New York Review of Books, 1985. Read some pages from John Ashbery on Roussel.

***Jan.2008 update: I've since learned that John Calder has retired (was there an international day of mourning?), and his line has been purchased by Oneworld. Their statement: "
Oneworld Classics is delighted to announce the acquisition of the legendary Calder Publications list Рwhich includes works by Beckett, Céline, Artaud, Duras, Trocchi, Barker, Ionesco and Robbe-Grillet, among many others Рand the Calder Bookshop on The Cut, near Waterloo, famous for its eclectic events programme."

Start flooding them with requests for Locus Solus.


Chamfort, Products of the Perfected Civilization

Brad, the editor of the great Neglected Books site [neglectedbooks.com], posted an annotated list of 20 out-of-print books I made in June of 2000. He added links to all the book titles. I'm going to post images of the books discussed (if I still have them). The permanent link for the list is here.

1. Products of the Perfected Civilization: The Selected Writings of Chamfort, translated and with an introduction by W. S. Merwin. [First published by Macmillan in 1969 (send me a scan if you have that edition); this is the 1984 reprint from North Point Press.]

Jacket design: David Bullen
Jacket illustration: anonymous engraving of Robespierre

From the flap: Chamfort is said to have been among the first in storming the Bastille . . . Nietzsche wrote that without Chamfort "the Revolution would have been deprived of its most tragic spirit and its sharpest sting; it would be considered a far more stupid event, and would not exert its present seductive fascination."

Thank you Farley's Bookshop in New Hope PA for keeping this title on the shelf long past its expiration date.