The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from November 2013

Fortune Telling Cards (9)

November 29th, 2013 · 4 Comments

“Le Jeu du Destin Antique,” a deck of 32 cards, was published by Piatnik in Vienna.  I obtained my copy in Prague many years ago.  The ace of hearts, the booklet tells me, indicates “welcome encounters, joy.” (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games

Happy Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2013 · 2 Comments

I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.  Stuffing oneself on dead bird to gloat over the genocide of the Indians, while muttering to an Imaginary Gaseous Vertebrate, doesn’t appeal to me.  I don’t enjoy overeating, and dinners in my family were not happy gatherings: mostly my father would become drunk and belligerent, while I wanted to be elsewhere.  […]

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Tags: Belief Systems · Hoaxes

Cap Recap

November 25th, 2013 · Comments Off on Cap Recap

Many thanks to those of you who stopped by the Jalopy Theater to hear me read from my translation of Alphonse Allais’s Captain Cap: His Adventures, His Ideas, His Drinks.  And thanks also to Feral Foster, who brought the American Lemonade, the drink Cap enjoys in Chapter 40, to today’s palates.  Photos of the event, […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Literature

Reading and Book Launch

November 18th, 2013 · Comments Off on Reading and Book Launch

There will be a reading and book launch, from and for Captain Cap: His Adventures, His Ideas, His Drinks, by Alphonse Allais: now translated, annotated, and illustrated by Doug Skinner, and published by Black Scat Books. Allais’s proto-pataphysical antihero, the inventor and explorer Captain Cap, expounds on such subjects as the kangacycle, the antifilter, and […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Bulletins

Escort Cards

November 11th, 2013 · 2 Comments

I am, for some reason, preoccupied with the many uses of that most ubiquitous and disposable of printed items, the cardboard rectangle.  The following is a selection of “escort cards,” which eligible gentlemen would once use to ask to walk a lady home.  They featured verses, illustrations, and rebuses, all in the service of formal […]

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Tags: Ephemera

Fortune Tellng Cards (8)

November 8th, 2013 · Comments Off on Fortune Tellng Cards (8)

We have another deck attributed to the famous Mademoiselle Lenormand (Marie-Anne-Adelaïde Lemormand, 1772-1843).  This one, “Le Petit Lenormand,” was published by B. P. Grimaud in 1976.  Yes, there is also a larger version.  As the instructions say, “Each card consists of symbolic and prophetic elements,” which may indicate either good or bad aspects, depending on […]

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Tags: Card Games

Black Scat Review 5

November 6th, 2013 · Comments Off on Black Scat Review 5

  The fifth issue of Black Scat Review is now available!  This one contains “Captain Cap Plays a Trick,” an excerpt from my translation of Alphonse Allais’s Captain Cap.  It also features work by Mark Axelrod, Shane Roeschlein, Patrizia Valduga‏, Harold Jaffe, Brett Stout, Andy O’Clancy, Samy Sfoggia, Nile Southern, Robert Hahn, and Michela Martini.  […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Literature

Happy Halloween

November 1st, 2013 · Comments Off on Happy Halloween

Well, Happy Halloween.  If, that is, Halloween is supposed to be happy.  It’s a mysterious holiday.  At any rate, here’s an old Galician proverb to contemplate: I don’t believe in witches, but they still exist. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Belief Systems