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There is hidden in Roussel something so strong, so ominous, and so pregnant with the darkness of the 'infinite spaces' that frightened Pascal, that one feels the need for some sort of protective equipment when one reads him.

—John Ashbery

An intoxicating sui generis novel by "the greatest mesmerist of modern times" (André Breton)


Locus Solus

Fiction by Raymond Roussel

translated from the French 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: a machine propelled by the weather, which constructs a mosaic out of varying hues of human teeth; a hairless cat charged with a powerful electric battery; 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.

published March 28th, 2017