Locus Solus

Written by Raymond Roussel | Translated by Rupert Copeland Cunningham
New Direction | March 28, 2017

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.

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REVIEWS

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

"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

"Originally published in 1914, Roussel’s extraordinary novel still feels fresh more than a hundred years later... Both a guide to a deranged scientist’s estate and a prism for refracting Roussel’s diverse stories, this incredible novel is somehow both Gothic and modern at the same time."Seth Satterlee, Publishers Weekly

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