March 2, 2008

Rene Crevel, Babylon

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:

Jean Ray, Malpertuis (and Presence du Futur)

I can't say much more than these two have said about Jean Ray's 20th century Gothic masterpiece Malpertuis: Giornale Nuovo and Michael Cisco.

In the intro to his 1998 translation of this 1943 novel, Iain White reports that: "In December of [1955, the year Ray died], due in large measure to the intervention of Raymond Queneau and Stragliati [Roland Stragliati, cineaste and writer], 'who have moved heaven and earth to rescue Malpertuis and indeed Jean Ray, from the obscurity of oblivion,' Malpertuis was republished in France by the leading firm Denoel, in their mass-market S. F. paperback series Presence du Futur."

Here's the cover of the Presence du Futur edition.

I just looked up the Presence du Futur series. Here are some of their covers (I stitched these together though they are not my scans):

Paul Eluard & Benjamin Peret, 152 Proverbs

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:

João Guimarães Rosa

July 2008 update. See details of the Third Bank flaps here.

In their most recent print catalog, Archipelago announced a new translation of The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by João Guimarães Rosa (see my post about that book here). They will use the Portugese title, Grande Sertão. This is exciting news, especially because Archipelago works only with the finest translators (they haven't yet announced who will translate their edition). I'll update this post as more information becomes available.

I've scanned the other works by Rosa in English translation, both from Knopf. Check out the illustrated flaps from The Third Bank of the River.

July 2008 update. See details of the Third Bank flaps here.

If you are impatient to read Rosa, his story "My Uncle, The Jaguar" is contained in the anthology Masterworks of Latin American Fiction, along with stories by Marquez, Infante, Mutis, Carpentier, Cortazar, Felisberto Hernandez, and Ana Lydia Vega. It can be found for pennies (or rather, pennies plus shipping).

The Black Spider, Jeremias Gotthelf, Calder Edition

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:

Raymond Roussel, Locus Solus

Raymond Roussel Locus Solus John Calder hardcover edition

I finally found a hardcover edition of Locus Solus. It only took a decade.

June 25, 2008 update: One World came through and has announced publication in July 2008. It may take awhile for the books to reach US bookstores.

Atlas Anthology III

I love the tagline at the top of the cover: "Benign Pollution * Enthused Writing."

This early anthology from Atlas Press was edited by Alastair Brotchie and Malcolm Green and published in 1985 with the help of Carcanet. You can still find copies with a little effort and patience.

Get in touch if you can provide scans of (or actual copies of!) Atlas Anthology 1 & 2.

June 2008 update: Read two of the four Robert Walser pieces from this book here.

Atlas's editorial note:

"Thanks to the generous assistance of Carcanet Press, it has been possible to bring the third Atlas Anthology to a wider audience. Readers will decide for themselves whether there is a thread connecting these many differing texts. It seems to us they represent aspects of a shared outlook which has been manifested by numerous groups (European Romanticism, early Expressionism, Surrealism, 'Pataphysics, the OuLiPo, the Vienna Group) and many individuals. One thing is certain: their preoccupations have little connection with the bleak and conventional naturalism prevalent in Britain and the U.S., which seems to owe more to Mrs. Gaskell than the twentieth century. We know from past issues that we have at least a small yet effusive audience, and cannot say whether the wider reception will be that 'climate of warm indifference'* with which the English normally 'welcome' enthused writing.

"Just so long as it's not boring . . . "

"*Title of Martin Seymour-Smith's survey of insularity of English writing, published in Bananas (the last magazine attempting to publish interesting writing in the U.K.) in 1976."


Author included: Hans Carl Artmann, Pierre Albert-Birot, Wolfgang Bauer, Konrad Bayer, Pierre Bettencourt, Peter Blegvad, Andre Breton, Jean-Pierre Brisset, Gunter Brus, Rene Crevel, David Gascoyne, Alfred Jarry, James Kirkup, Karl Kraus, Jean Lorrain, Harry Mathews, Gustav Meyrink, Pasolini, Georges Perec, Benjamin Peret, Oskar Panizza, Raymond Queneau, Jacques Rigaut, Herbert Rosendorfer, Raymond Roussel, Paul Scheerbart, Mathew Phipps Shiel, Kurt Schwitters, Boris Vian, Austryn Wainhouse, Robert Walser, Unica Zurn, and more.

What is 'Pataphysics?

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts: