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Masochists in America

Pierre Mac Orlan

Translated by Alexis Lykiard

Pierre Mac Orlan (Pierre Dumarchey, 1882-1970) was one of the most original and versatile 20th century French authors. His main output in novels, short stories and poetry was both Protean and prolific, but in addition to his literary work, Mac Orlan was also a talented musician, political commentator, journalist and visual artist. 

The Oxford Companion to Literature in French has called Mac Orlan ‘the most prominent of the Montmartre writers of the inter-war years’, remarking on this extraordinary storyteller’s ‘apprenticeship in Montmartre Bohemia’. Mac Orlan is recognised as an ‘outstanding practitioner of the adventure novel’, whose fictions, initially influenced by Conrad and Stevenson, became ‘a powerful evocation of post-war inquiétude in the context of his own term le fantastique social’. 

Mac Orlan is now perhaps most celebrated for Le Quai des Brumes (1927), later so brilliantly filmed by Marcel Carné. But he also enjoyed producing a wide variety of erotica, such as Le Masochisme en Amérique (1909), published here for the first time in an unexpurgated English translation, together with Alexis Lykiard’s detailed and illuminating Introduction, plus bibliography and notes. 

Alexis Lykiard the Greek-born poet and novelist has published translations from the French since the 1960s. Best known for his own poetry and for his fully annotated translation of Lautréamont’s Complete Works, Lykiard has specialised in translating Surrealist texts and/or experimental erotic novels by poets, including Apollinaire, Aragon, Antonin Artaud and Alfred Jarry. Alexis Lykiard has also Englished many other 19th and 20th century French books often using the pseudonym ‘Celeste Piano’ – the protagonist of his 1974 novel Instrument of Pleasure.

Paperback 6" x 9" 136 pages ISBN 978-1-4478-4656-7 Published November 2011

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