Impressions of Africa. Raymond Roussel

Impressions of Africa. Raymond Roussel

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Raymond Roussel. Impressions of Africa

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In a mythical African land, some shipwrecked and uniquely talented passengers stage a grand gala to entertain themselves and their captor, the great chieftain Talou. In performance after bizarre performance — starring, among others, a zither-playing worm, a marksman who can peel an egg at fifty yards, a railway car that rolls on calves’ lungs, and fabulous machines that paint, weave, and compose music — Raymond Roussel demonstrates why it is that André Breton termed him “the greatest mesmerizer of modern times.” But even more remarkable than the mind-bending events Roussel details — as well as their outlandish, touching, or tawdry backstories — is the principle behind the novel’s genesis, a complex system of puns and double-entendres that anticipated (and helped inspire) such movements as Surrealism and Oulipo. Newly translated and with an introduction by Mark Polizzotti, this edition of Impressions of Africa vividly restores the humor, linguistic legerdemain, and conceptual wonder of Raymond Roussel’s magnum opus.
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