Category: fiction

Ten years in the making….

OK, it wasn’t ten years, but it sure feels like ten years. I had to pester and prod 40+ contributors and — despite having flunked math — that’s  a lot of people. Then, of course, I had to try and cram in all human knowledge into 116 pages — no easy task, take my word for it. Not to mention a boatload of illustrations. All this material was piled sky-high on my desk and i had to sort through it all and ALPHABETIZE the entries!  Imagine what a chore that was. But that was just the beginning…the goddamn thing had to be placed in the layout and made to look like it all made sense — had an inherent structure, justified typography, and cross references — even freaking footnotes!!

It should all have been proofread, too, but I didn’t have the time for that, thank you very much.

If anybody asks  if you’d like to edit an encyclopedia…tell them to go to hell.

Oh, but don’t get me wrong…this is a book you’ll surely want to own and give as a gift. Heck, what better gift  than the gift of knowledge, right?

You can order the book as we speak at this LINK …  tell ’em Norman sent you.

On second thought, tell them Diderot.  (Look him up.)

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Do the Math

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Back cover (detail)

After several delays my new collection THREE  PLUS THREE MAKES SEVEN was published last week by   Blazing Chapbooks in Paris.

 

My dear friend Alain Arias-Misson was on hand for a small launch party at the publisher’s home office at 75 Rue Saint Honoré.  Alain was accompanied  by the lovely writer Karen Moller and their good friend, the Oulipian wizard, Marcel Bénabou. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Alain and Marcel are at work on an oulipian interview which will appear in a future issue of Le Scat Noir)  

UPDATE: “…I really feel constrained to say that my esteemed and notorious author-friend is as usual overly modest – it was most certainly not a small launch! Yes, the offices are quite small, so that not every member of the literary Parisian glitterati who wanted to get in – could. Norman Conquest has become something of a byword if not a shibboleth! in Anglo-French intellectual circles and I was daunted at having to say a few brief laudatory words, as much was expected! Well, in the end, all I can say is Bravo! and when is the American lit-establishment going to learn from Paris – as it did in the past with Joyce, Miller, Eliot, Hemingway and so many others.”                          — Alain Arias-Misson, Paris

Stephan Evrard

I have yet to receive my author’s copies, but I hear it’s quite lovely. It has some nice illustrations by Stephan Evrard; a drawing by the late Georges Perec; and a preface by Derek Pell which, according to my editor Jason Steinholt, contains sufficient praise for a blurb or two. Speaking of blurbs, the publisher has sent a complimentary copy to Betsy DeVos (if that’s her real name)—admittedly it’s a long shot, but it would certainly be helpful to have the backing of the U.S. Secretary of Education.  So, fingers crossed.

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At the mention of Paris, I’m sure there’s panic among my followers, but don’t sweat it,  the chapbook is in English. In fact, there’s only one sentence in French and if you can’t read it, so what? You’re not missing anything.

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Blazing Chapbooks, 75 Rue Saint Honoré, Paris

 

You can nab a copy for a mere ten bucks on Amazon  now. If you want to see the subtitle CLICK HERE.

I can’t say much more about the book because I haven’t read it. Writing and reading are separate activities.  Anyhow, the less said the better is my motto. Besides,  it’s always wise to leave something to the imagination,  assuming you have one, and since you’re reading this blog post it’s unlikely.

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My esteemed editor & publisher, J. V. Steinholt

 

 

 

 

I will, however, give you a hint: the book is not about hats,  mutants, marmosets, dwarves, ex-wives, Catholicism, meth labs, smartphones,  or Donald Trump.  Hmm, that  rules out nearly everything except maths. Oh well, you’ll just have to take your chances .

CLICK HERE TO ORDER   

IF YOU’RE IN FRANCE, PLEASE ORDER HERE

Happy October! 

 

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THREE PLUS THREE MAKES SEVEN

My new collection THREE PLUS THREE MAKES SEVEN: Potential Literature for Those Who Flunked Math will be out next month from J.V. Steinholt’s Blazing Chapbooks in Paris. Don’t fret, it will be available on Amazon in North America and Europe and the texts are all in English, so  no need to hire an expensive translator with an attitude.

It’s a slender volume, too, so you can take it on the subway, slip it in your purse or beach bag, no fuss no mess. It’s also squeaky clean, so you don’t have to hide it under the bed, you can proudly display it on your coffee table and impress your guests.

I don’t know what the cover price is yet, but whatever it is it’ll be worth it. Trust me.

 

LE SCAT NOIR FREE “SPECIAL INFECTION ISSUE”

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Le Scat Noir #216 features the complete text of my play ‘Ubu Raw: As You Like It,” as well as grand art and fiction by Alphonse Allais, Samuele Bastianello, Paulo Brito, Colin Dodds, Allen Forrest, Eckhard Gerdes, Derek Pell, Alice Pulaski, Frank Pulaski, Jason E. Rolfe, Erik Satie, and Doug Skinner . Download it HERE and please spread the infection to your friends.

UBU RAW

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Here’s a snippet from the transcript of my play. You can read the complete text in #216 of Le Scat Noir which is NOW AVAILABLE as a free download here.

UBU RAW: As You Like It

Unedited Transcript by Norman Conquest

Young Will and King Ubu Trump are gazing out the window of a  parked coach.

 YOUNG WILL: (sighing):  She’s still very beautiful, sire.

UBU: Let me tell you a sad tale that, to this day, troubles my soul. Once upon a time, on the Beach of the Palms, I moved on her like a feral woodchuck.

YOUNG WILL: Whoa! You did? Horny King Ubu! Yaa-haa!

UBU: I groveled, I  pawed, I nibbled,  dribbled and groped. I slobbered ‘pon  her pale flesh as at a royal feast, and yet…. And yet!… I failed!  (Bows head in shame.) Yes, yes,   I loathe to confess that I, King Ubu, did not score. How monstrous that this player here, in a scheme of passion,  was rebuffed by a common wench. Though I did my very best. Imagine!  A small-bosomed whore, spurning the advances of the  king!

YOUNG WILL: Whoa, impossible! A madwoman crossed the royal path.
UBU: Mad, tis true. And the bloom was off the virgin, too–she was married. A slut!…

***END OF EXCERPT***