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Anthology of Black Humor by André Breton
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Jul 25, 08

Read in January, 1999

This is a wonderful collection of vintage black humor, perhaps typified in its editorial bent by the inclusion of the Marquis de Sade. L'humoir noir was one of the foundational legs d'giraffe upon which Surrealism farted and cavorted. With age, the black humor collected here has largely been surpassed, giving this book the feel of a vital museum piece. There are writers here who still hold their own (Peret, Carroll, Jarry, Huysmans and Baudelaire, among others), though it must be confessed that modern readers won't find the mad belly-laughs here. It is more funny-peculiar than funny-haha, and hits the brain like a shot of absinthe. If you have to pick one book with which to bludgeon someone to death, this would be a fine choice.
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