Sunday, September 1, 2013

"The Conductor and Other Tales" by Jean Ferry (Translated by Edward Gauvin)

Wakefield Press Distributed by D.A.P. ISBN: 978-1-939663-01-6


The most obscure of the obscure, and will probably stay obscure, but not to the fault of the great pubishing house Wakefield Press.  Hardcore Surrealist narratives by Jean Ferry, a name that maybe familiar if one follows the world of the Collége de Pataphysique and Surrealist texts.  This collection of short stories was admired by Andre Breton and was originally a limited edition of 100 copies.  And now we can read this rarity and marvel to Ferry's mix of humor and dread.  

Not hard to believe that Ferry wrote numerous books on Raymond Roussel in French, because one can see the influence in his own fictional writings.  These stories are very slight, but also very important with respect to the culture that it came from.  Which is the avant-garde French literary world, that also leaks into French cinema as well.  Ferry wrote scripts for both Luis Bunuel and Henri-Georges Clouzot, so I think he was a man at the right place, with the right people and at the right time.    The stories themselves are not essential, but having and reading this is actually a very important part of the puzzle.   20th Century French literature is a large spider with its webs going towards different directions and areas.  Here is one map one should own and read.

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