The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Books'

Merde à la Belle Époque

February 4th, 2014 · No Comments

Merde à la Belle Époque is now available from Black Scat Books! Doug Skinner has chosen, translated, and annotated a choice selection of scatological texts from Paris’s Bohemian heyday. The texts range from 1883 to 1902, and include poems, stories, a play, a rebus and a letter. You’ll find Alphonse Allais, George Auriol, Georges Courteline, […]

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Tags: Books

Pierre Gustave Brunet and the Literature of the Insane

January 27th, 2014 · No Comments

Pierre Gustave Brunet (1805-1896) compiled bibliographies.  I know nothing else about him.  His output was remarkable, though, as were the subjects he chose: Pope Joan, Biblical apocrypha, theological curiosities, imaginary libraries, fictional publishers, literary frauds, scatological texts, facetious literature, and lost books, among others. His best remembered work is probably his 1880 compendium, Les Fous […]

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Tags: Books · Literature

Who Was Marion Kinnaird?

January 15th, 2014 · 3 Comments

In 1932, a certain Marion Kinnaird had a choice assignment: to write children’s books based on two grand old comic strips, Frederick Opper’s “Happy Hooligan” and James Swinnerton’s “Little Jimmy.”  They were published by McLoughlin Bros. in a large format (10″ x 13″), with four-color  covers and three-color interiors.  For Opper, he or she came […]

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Tags: Books · Cartoons · Mysteries

A Word From Black Scat Books

December 10th, 2013 · No Comments

My publisher, Black Scat Books, has passed along this reminder for the holiday season.  My illustrated translation of Alphonse Allais’s Captain Cap will chase away Seasonally Affected Depression.  You can find a copy on Amazon; New Yorkers who prefer brick and mortar can obtain a copy at Spoonbill & Sugartown, in Williamsburg. (Posted by Doug […]

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Tags: Books


October 1st, 2013 · No Comments

Richard Toronto worked for years on a biography of Richard Shaver, the curious writer whose stories about caverns, ancient machines, and the notorious dero had such an impact on early ufology and on science fiction.  The result, War Over Lemuria, has now been published by McFarland, and is racking up good reviews.  So much material […]

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Tags: Books

Little Blue Books by Forteans (5): T. Swann Harding

September 3rd, 2013 · 2 Comments

T. Swann Harding replaced Harry Elmer Barnes as a Founder of the Fortean Society.  As usual, I don’t know how active he was.  His papers, now in the Library of Congress, contain correspondence with Thayer, and he did contribute to Doubt, so I assume he was involved more than some of the others. I haven’t […]

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Tags: Books · Forteana

Captain Cap, Volume 3

August 5th, 2013 · No Comments

The third volume of the adventures of Captain Cap (there will be four) is now available from Black Scat Books, in a limited edition of 125.  The adventures of the prototypical ‘pataphysical antihero, first published by Alphonse Allais in 1902, have been scrupulously translated, illustrated, and annotated by Doug Skinner; they appear in English for […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Books

The Ullage Group Presents Mark Pilkington

November 4th, 2012 · No Comments

Our old friend Mark Pilkington is in town, on a visit from London.  We had planned to organize a second film festival, and show some of his film work, with other material.  However, his planned talk at that fine institution, the Observatory at Proteus Gowanus, has been canceled, due, as you might guess, to the […]

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Tags: Books · Bulletins · Forteana

Happy Ripley-Newton Day

December 24th, 2011 · 3 Comments

December 25 is the birthday of Robert Ripley, the creator of “Believe It or Not,” and an inspirational figure to us here.  To mark the occasion, here’s a photo of him at the dinner table.  He was rather flamboyant. It’s also the birthday of Isaac Newton.  American readers, it occurs to me, may be unaware […]

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Tags: Books · Cartoons

New York City in Little Blue Books

October 26th, 2011 · 4 Comments

The “Little Blue Books” were published by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, of Girard, Kansas, from about 1919 to 1947.  They were small, cheaply made, and sold for a nickel or dime.  The covers were originally blue, but other colors were pressed into service if the card stock was cheaper.  By the time the company crumbled, they had […]

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Tags: Books · Places