This book has not yet been published. It will be be released on August 24, 2017. If you order it before this date, we will send it out as soon as copies are available.
Translated by Rupert Copeland Cuningham
Based, like the earlier Impressions of Africa, on uniquely eccentric principles of composition, this book invites the reader to enter a world which in its innocence and extravagance is unlike anything in the literature of the twentieth century.
Cantarel, a scholarly scientist, whose enormous wealth imposes no limits upon his prolific ingenuity, is taking a group of visitors on a tour of “Locus Solus”, his secluded estate near Paris. One by one he introduces, demonstrates and expounds the discoveries and inventions of his fertile, encyclopaedic mind: an African mud-sculpture representing a naked child; a road-mender’s tool which, when activated by the weather, creates a mosaic of human teeth; a vast aquarium in which humans can breathe and in which a depilated cat is seen stimulating the partially decomposed head of Danton to fresh flights of oratory.
By each item in Cantarel’s exhibition there hangs a tale – a tale such as only that esteemed genius Roussel could tell. As the inventions become more elaborate, the richness and brilliance of the author’s stories grow to match them; the flow of his imagination becomes a flood, and the reader is swept along in a torrent of wonder and hilarity.
Raymond Roussel (1877–1933) was a French poet, novelist, playwright, musician, chess enthusiast, neurasthenic and drug addict. Through his novels, poems and plays he exerted a profound influence on certain groups within 20th-century French literature, including the Surrealists, Oulipo and the authors of the Nouveau Roman.