Nothing Happened

Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo’s An Ossuary of the North Lagoon and Other Stories

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Today is the official release date for Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo’s An Ossuary of the North Lagoon and Other Stories.

From the publisher: Frederick William Rolfe (1860-1913) was born in Cheapside, London. In 1886, he converted to Roman Catholicism. His short stories were published in various periodicals, including the Yellow Book. He wrote A History of the Borgias (1901), as well as a number of novels, the most famous of them being Hadrian the Seventh (1904). he died in poverty in Venice.

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Much has been written about Frederick Rolfe, the bulk being biographic in nature. A cult of personality arose soon after the publication of A.J.A. Symons’ experimental biography, The Quest for Corvo appeared in 1934, and while his character is certainly fascinating, I have always sought critical assessments of his work. They are few and far between, and so in my introduction I sought to place Corvo where I feel he belongs in terms of literary history.  Often lumped into the decadent movement of the late 1890s (his Toto stories were published in the decadent Yellow Book) Corvo’s inventive and highly stylistic prose foreshadowed a movement that would lay claim to the early twentieth century, producing such visionary writers as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce. Although his feet were firmly planted in literary decadence, Corvo’s head was filled with modernist visions.

For those of you unfamiliar with Corvo’s work, this book will serve as an excellent introduction. The short story certainly plays to Corvo’s strengths as a writer. If you are already familiar with Corvo and his writing, you will no doubt find much to appreciate here. The collected stories are rare and difficult to find elsewhere. Either way, I highly recommend An Ossuary of the North Lagoon and Other Stories. 

Buy it here.

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I’m An April Fool!

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The April issue of Le Scat Noir contains my short tribute to Irish writer Máirtin O Cadhain called “A Heap and a Half.” I consider myself fortunate to be included in this particular issue because it also contains works by Alphonse Allais, Darlene Altschul, Adrienne Auvray, Paulo Brito, Norman Conquest, Farewell Debut, Peter Gambaccini, Eckhard Gerdes, Jan Vander Laenen, Terri Lloyd, Derek Pell, Frank Pulaski, Shane Roeschlein, Paul Rosheim, Francisque Sarcey, Doug Skinner, Carol White, Carla M. Wilson, & D. Harlan Wilson.

Le Scat Noir is typically a talent showcase, but April’s issue takes it up a notch (and I’m not just saying that because my story’s in there and I’m unbelievably arrogant either. I’m saying it because I’m unbelievably arrogant AND it’s true!)

Visit www.blackscatbooks.net April 1st to get your completely free copy of this completely free online magazine for free! Completely! Trust me, it’s worth every penny!

…a touch of literary strangeness

14639841_1291490804204243_3971675242789998160_nA very nice review of An Archive of Human Nonsense has been posted on Risingshadow.net. Although I’ve heard directly from several readers, this is the first “official” review of my novella. The review offers a very detailed look at the story. I must admit that, good or bad, I am always curious to hear what people think. It helps either affirm that I accomplished what I intended, or that I failed and need to re-think how I’ve done things.

An Archive of Human Nonsense occupies the space between literary fiction and literary fantasy. It’s kind of like a hybrid of both genres with a strong dash of existentialism and a touch of literary strangeness.”

You can read the full review on the Rising Shadow website. An Archive of Human Nonsense can be purchased directly from the publisher c/o Snuggly Books, via Amazon, Chapters-Indigo, or from many other online outlets.

A Debatable Story

“A Debatable Story” will be appearing in the February issue of Le Scat Noir courtesy of Black Scat Books. It recounts the time I was asked to moderate a debate between the Flat Earth Society and the Hollow Earth Society. The story is unofficially dedicated to two fine gentlemen – my great friend Carl Lavoie, who inspired the idea, and a great writer named Rhys Hughes, who inspires my writing.

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Mail Call!

img_3922Léon Bloy
The Tarantulas’ Parlor and Other Unkind Tales

LIMITED EDITION of 60 copies, of which 55 will be made available to the public.
Hardcover, 288 pages
1st edition, October 17th, 2016

A paperback is also available:

Paperback, 286 pages
1st edition, October 17th, 2016

I just finished reading Brian Stableford’s introduction to his recent translation of Léon Bloy’s Histoires Désobligeantes. It’s a very thorough introduction, not only to the works themselves, but to their author, and should be read by anyone interested in ‘discovering’ Bloy for themselves. Mr. Stableford’s thoughtful insights into the man and his immediate world certainly enhance the reading of these contes cruels.

…and while truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, fiction is always truer.

Mr. Stableford’s assessment of Bloy brought to mind a somewhat later writer, Fr. Rolfe, whose work, you may well know, has held my fascination for some time. With this in mind, I am all the more curious to read his translation of Bloy.bloy.jpg

These stories are not new to me. I ‘met’ Léon Bloy shortly after reading Auguste de Villiers
de l’Isle-Adam’s Cruel Tales. At that time I could only find Bloy’s Histoires Désobligeantes in French. I was pleased when Wakefield Press published an Erik Butler translation entitled Disagreeable Tales in 2015. I’m certainly a fan of Wakefield Press, but Mr. Stableford’s introduction alone, makes this Snuggly Books offering a welcome edition to my Bloy collection. Mr. Stableford has an extensive portfolio of French-English translations, including works by the masterful Alphonse Allais. I am confident that if anyone can do Léon Bloy justice, he can.

I also received the first six ‘Snuggly Slims,’ including works by David Rix, Justin Isis, Quentin S. Crisp, Kristine Ong Muslim, Toadhouse, and Yarrow Paisley. This series will soon include my own novella, An Archive of Human Nonsense.

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You can view Snuggly Books’ current catalogue here, to which will soon be added Frederick Rolfe’s An Ossuary of the North Lagoon and Other Stories, with an introduction by yours truly, and the novella  An Archive of Human Nonsense.

Buster Keaton

What you have to do is create a character. Then the character just does his best, and there’s your comedy. – Buster Keaton

b8a0be81f362c0f524ef543eb84ead9eMy short story, “Buster Keaton” can be found in the current issue of Le Scat Noir (Number 217). I am a fan of silent comedy – Buster in particular – and so I wrote this short piece as a  simple tribute to the Old Stone Face.

There is something comically tragic (or tragically comic) about Buster. Perhaps he, better than anyone else, understood how closely linked comedy and tragedy truly are. He lived a life that encapsulated both, and yet he lived to make us laugh.

You can read “Buster Keaton” here. I am pleased to have it included with so many wonderful works in Le Scat Noir Number 217.

A New Corvo Collection

The cover for Snuggly Books‘ forthcoming Corvo collection, for which I’ve written the introduction. Due out in April of next year. This book showcases Corvo’s talent as a short story writer, and makes some of his harder to find tales more accessible to readers. Corvo enthusiasts will undoubtedly buy this book, but I recommend it to those of you unfamiliar with Frederick Rolfe’s work. It is an excellent introduction to Corvo’s unique blend of Decadence and Modernism.

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