Nights as Day, Days as Night
by Michel Leiris
Trade paperback, 196 pages, translated from French by Richard Sieburth, with a foreword by Maurice Blanchot. Free domestic shipping.
Hailed as an “important literary document and contemporary pleasure” by Lydia Davis, Nights as Day, Days as Night is a chronicle of Michel Leiris’s dreams. But it is also an exceptional autobiography, a distorted vision of twentieth-century France, a surrealist collage, a collection of prose poems. Leiris, author of the seminal autobiography Manhood, here disrupts the line between being asleep and awake, between being and non-being. He captures the profound strangeness of the dreamer’s identity: that anonymous creature who stirs awake at night to experience a warped version of waking life.
Monsieur de Bougrelon
by Jean Lorrain
Trade paperback, 128 pages, translated from French with an afterword by Eva Richter. Free domestic shipping.
“A singular and intoxicating experience” – Strange Flowers
In Jean Lorrain’s Monsieur de Bougrelon, an eccentric, outmoded dandy leads ennui-filled French tourists around misty Amsterdam. Guiding them through sailors’ bars, whorehouses, and costume galleries, Monsieur de Bougrelon recounts hallucinatory stories of his past and delves into his “heroic friendship” with his aristocratic companion Monsieur de Mortimer. Originally published in French in 1897, Monsieur de Bougrelon is now available in English translation for the first time.
I Am Not Ashamed by Barbara Payton
Trade paperback, 216 pages, with afterword by ghostwriter Leo Guild and a chronology of Barbara Payton’s life. Free domestic shipping.
“A dime store (in the best sense of the term) Notes from Underground – the bellowing of the underground woman” – Kim Morgan
I Am Not Ashamed, first published in 1963, is the absurdist tale of a forgotten movie star’s unnerving decline. When sleazy journalist Leo Guild arrived at Barbara Payton’s flophouse Hollywood apartment, he was surprised to find that the thirty-five-year-old former actress was working as a prostitute to support her alcohol addiction. He brought her cases of cheap wine, turned on the tape recorder, and she began to speak . . .
Nude Reagan by John Brian King
20 cm x 20 cm hardcover, 112 pages (107 color photos), limited number of copies. Printed in Italy. Free domestic shipping.
“Both a grotesque imposition and an ugly seduction” – Flavorwire
The photographs of Nude Reagan are discordant and grotesque, portraying changing bodies beneath the endless repetition of one mask.
For John Brian King’s most recent series, he photographed twenty-three nude models with a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera in an empty Palm Springs office. Each model wore the same Ronald Reagan mask, striking any pose she liked.
Deliberately unsettling, these photographs depict Reagan as a demon and specter haunting the modern world. Evoking the dead conservative president, the models wear the hideous dark-eyed mask – anemic and wrinkled – and morph into unerotic, freakish wraiths. The colors of the photographs accentuate these figures’ eerie qualities: the camera’s unstable flash turns the bland office backdrop alternately into a mold green, a muddy gray, a brilliant white, or a dense, all-encompassing black setting.
LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980–84 by John Brian King
24 cm x 22 cm softcover, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited number of copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian. Printed in Italy. Free domestic shipping.
“Newly uncovered, these shots form a porthole into a long-gone era; the LA of old school Hollywood glamour is invisible here, concealed by the clamor of everyday life.” – AnOther Magazine
LAX is comprised of two series of black-and-white images of a metropolis that has now vanished. In the first series, “LAX,” photographer John Brian King engaged in street-style photography in one of the city’s most charged places: Los Angeles International Airport. In the second series, “LA,” King photographed a city at night devoid of people.
The black-and-white film negatives of LAX remained in a box for thirty years; they have now reemerged as the unsettling traces of 1980s Los Angeles.
My Suicide by Henri Roorda
Translated from French by Eva Richter. Henri Roorda – a Swiss anarchist, math teacher, and columnist – shot himself in 1925, but left behind this essay, which examines his life and philosophy of “joyful pessimism.”
In this baleful, little-known treatise, Henri Roorda presents debt and boredom in a world of capital as “his reasons for going,” and he dissects these motivations with such astuteness that his anatomy of himself and his perceived failures becomes spellbinding. My Suicide is both melancholy and humorous, political and deeply personal – a meditation on unfulfilled desires and the “uselessness of old age.”