Playing with words

Photo by Patrick Tomasso

For one of the pieces in my forthcoming collection, smells like teen spirit, I devised a minor Oulipian constraint which I believe is unique. That is to say, I searched my reference shelf as well as the web and could not find the exercise. So if anyone out there has heard of it, please contact me (via the link on the “About” page) and I’ll refrain from bragging.

In the meantime… drum roll, please!

—– Regressive Text —–

Take a text (fiction or nonfiction) and use only the first sentence of each paragraph, starting with the last paragraph and working backwards to the first sentence.

 

I used a short story by O. Henry and was richly rewarded with a delightfully ironic ending:

The critics have assailed every source of inspiration save one.

This inspired me to add a variation to the regressive text:

italicize one word in each sentence and append the words “emphasis added” to the title.

 

Thus, using the above example, the last sentence became: 

The critics have assailed every source of inspiration save one.

I won’t reveal the story’s title here, but you’ll find it when the book is released. Let’s hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed tampering with it.

LIPO LOGO

Not the cola

Advanced Mirthology

TEEN PATAPHYSICS

My collection—smells like teen ‘pataphysics—features signs of the phenomenon, oscillating pyramids, and  luminous vapors. It’s forthcoming from Black Scat Books and should be available in time for Xmas.

Allow me to whet your appetite with an hors d’oeuvre. [click image for larger view]

excerpt from smells like teen ‘pataphysics

 

Green is the New Black!…

…The new Black Scat book that is. THE BOOK WITH THE GREEN COVER.

Catchy title, eh?

This is my collection of verbo-visual treats — featuring freaked-up posters, charts, mock book & magazine covers, rectified readymades, typographic diversions, found novels, and other delicious detritus.

It’s profusely illustrated in FLAMING FULL COLOUR which really makes the pictures pop out.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy on Amazon. You’ll be glad you did and so will I.

 

The New Math!

Already terribly successful in France (emphasis on terrible), a revised and expanded edition has just been rushed into print. Includes my signature, new footnotes, additional illustrations and other goodness. And at under $11 it’s a steal, so please steal it here.

Available worldwide on Amazon.

Do the Math

F-B

Cover (front + back) of the Second Edition

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Back cover (detail) First Edition

After several delays my new collection THREE  PLUS THREE MAKES SEVEN was published last week by   Blazing Chapbooks in Paris.

My dear friend Alain Arias-Misson was on hand for a small launch party at the publisher’s home office at 75 Rue Saint Honoré.  Alain was accompanied  by the lovely writer Karen Moller and their good friend, the Oulipian wizard, Marcel Bénabou. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Alain and Marcel are at work on an oulipian interview which will appear in a future issue of Le Scat Noir)  

UPDATE: “…I really feel constrained to say that my esteemed and notorious author-friend is as usual overly modest – it was most certainly not a small launch! Yes, the offices are quite small, so that not every member of the literary Parisian glitterati who wanted to get in – could. Norman Conquest has become something of a byword if not a shibboleth! in Anglo-French intellectual circles and I was daunted at having to say a few brief laudatory words, as much was expected! Well, in the end, all I can say is Bravo! and when is the American lit-establishment going to learn from Paris – as it did in the past with Joyce, Miller, Eliot, Hemingway and so many others.”                          — Alain Arias-Misson, Paris

Stephan Evrard

I have yet to receive my author’s copies, but I hear it’s quite lovely. It has some nice illustrations by Stephan Evrard; a drawing by the late Georges Perec; and a preface by Derek Pell which, according to my editor Jason Steinholt, contains sufficient praise for a blurb or two. Speaking of blurbs, the publisher has sent a complimentary copy to Betsy DeVos (if that’s her real name)—admittedly it’s a long shot, but it would certainly be helpful to have the backing of the U.S. Secretary of Education.  So, fingers crossed.

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At the mention of Paris, I’m sure there’s panic among my followers, but don’t sweat it,  the chapbook is in English. In fact, there’s only one sentence in French and if you can’t read it, so what? You’re not missing anything.

BC

Blazing Chapbooks, 75 Rue Saint Honoré, Paris

You can nab a copy for a mere ten bucks on Amazon  now. If you want to see the subtitle CLICK HERE.

I can’t say much more about the book because I haven’t read it. Writing and reading are separate activities.  Anyhow, the less said the better is my motto. Besides,  it’s always wise to leave something to the imagination,  assuming you have one, and since you’re reading this blog post it’s unlikely.

jv steinholt

My esteemed editor & publisher, J. V. Steinholt

I will, however, give you a hint: the book is not about hats,  mutants, marmosets, dwarves, ex-wives, Catholicism, meth labs, smartphones,  or Donald Trump.  Hmm, that  rules out nearly everything except maths. Oh well, you’ll just have to take your chances .

CLICK HERE TO ORDER   

IF YOU’RE IN FRANCE, PLEASE ORDER HERE

Happy October! 

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LET YOUR FREAK FLAG FLY!

Don’t miss the July issue of LE SCAT NOIR, it’s packed with  explosive and sublime divertissements and features new translations of ALFRED JARRY, plus a star-studded cast of artists and writers.

Best of all, the issue is FREE to read and download at this LINK.

Enjoy it while you can.