Raymond Roussel was born into a wealthy Parisian family in 1877 and died in a hotel room in Palermo in 1933. His works have influenced such artists and writers as Marcel Duchamp ("Roussel showed me the way"), Alberto Giacometti, Kenneth Koch, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Leonardo Sciascia, Italo Calvino, Paul Auster, Georges Perec, and Jim Jarmusch.
Fiction by Raymond Roussel
translated by Rupert Copeland Cunningham
The wealthy scientist Martial Canterel guides a group of visitors through his expansive estate, Locus Solus, where he displays his various deranged inventions, each more spectacular than the last. First, he introduces a machine propelled by the weather, which constructs a mosaic out of varying hues of human teeth, then shows a hairless cat charged with a powerful electric battery, and next a bizarre theater in which corpses are reanimated with a special serum to enact the most important movements of their past lives.
Wondrously imaginative and narrated with Roussel’s deadpan wit, Locus Solus is unlike anything else ever written.