The Conductor and Other Tales

Written by Jean Ferry, illustrated by Claude Ballaré and translated by Edward Gauvin | November 30, 2013
The Conductor and Other Tales, by Jean Ferry, illustrated by Claude Ballaré and translated by Edward Gauvin, Wakefield Press, November 2013

First published in French in 1950 in a limited edition of 100 copies, then republished in 1953 (and enthusiastically praised by André Breton), The Conductor and Other Tales is Jean Ferry's only published book of fiction. It is a collection of short prose narratives that offer a blend of pataphysical humor and surreal nightmare: secret societies so secret that one cannot know if one is a member or not, music-hall acts that walk a tightrope from humor to horror, childhood memories of a man never born, and correspondence from countries that are more states of mind than geographical locales. Lying somewhere between Kafka's parables and the prose poems of Henri Michaux, Ferry's tales read like pages from the journal of a stranger in a familiar land. Though extracts have appeared regularly in Surrealist anthologies over the decades, The Conductor has never been fully translated into English until now. This edition includes four stories not included in the original French edition and is illustrated throughout with collages by Claude Ballaré.


Jean Ferry (1906-1974) made his living as a screenwriter for such filmmakers as Luis Buñuel and Louis Malle, cowriting such classics as Henri-Georges Clouzot's Le Quai des orfèvres and script-doctoring Marcel Carné's Les Enfants du paradis. He was the first serious scholar and exegete of the work of Raymond Roussel (on whom he published three books) and a member of the Collège de Pataphysique.

More info

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

Best European Fiction 2013

2013 may be the best year yet for Best European Fiction. The inimitable John Banville joins the list of distinguished preface writers for Aleksandar Hemon's series, and A. S. Byatt represents England among a luminous cast of European contributors. Fans of the series will find everything they've grown to love, while new readers will discover what they've been missing!
new titles

Waterloo and Trafalgar

In his first wordless picture book, Olivier Tallec shows the pointlessness of war through his smart, comic, emotionally astute illustrations. Tallec portrays two characters, separated only by narrow walls, who spy on each other through the seasons.
new titles

Host with Confidence: French Secrets for Successful Dinner Parties

This book is the ultimate and easy French secret checklist on how to create an atmosphere using décor, flowers, food and drink suggestions - all the while - being organized, sexy and psychologically confident. Welcome to our special world of connecting with others "à la maison".
1/3
MORE IN books
event

Exhibition: "Notre Mère la Guerre", a Graphic Novel from France

September 19, 2014 - October 10, 2014
Goethe Institute San Francisco
Auditorium
530 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
event

Hervé Tullet in San Francisco

October 13, 2014 - October 14, 2014
Multiple Locations
San Francisco,
CA
event

Marc Lévy at Litquake

October 15, 2014
MODERNISM
685 Market St., Suite 290
San Francisco, CA 94105