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Mad Balls cover image Mad Balls

Benjamin Péret

The Printed Head
Volume I, Number 8

Translated by James Brook.
ISBN 0 947757 32 5
32pp A5 booklet
out of print

The complete text of this work was first published under the pseudonym of Satyremont by Eric Losfeld in 1954. the book’s cover bore the title Les Rouilles encagées (Encaged Rust); the title page, however, read Les Couilles enragées (Mad Balls). Many of the poems in the book had previously appeared in a joint work written by Aragon and Péret entitled 1929, which was published in that year. It was illustrated with four photographs of Kiki and A. N. Other by Man Ray, which are usually omitted from English language collections of his photographs. Losfeld issued a trade edition of the book in 1970 under Péret’s name, in a series edited by Jean Schuster, and it is also included in Volume 4 of Péret’s Oeuvres Complètes (1987). Péret wrote the text in 1928, and it is likely that it was intended to be the final volume of an unholy trinity of clandestine Surrealist works of fiction dealing with the themes of eroticism and violence. The first two, Louis Aragon’s Irene’s Cunt and Georges Bataille’s The Story of the Eye, both published in 1928, are already available in UK paperback editions, published by Star and Penguin respectively (although Aragon’s book has had its title emasculated). This belated translation of Péret’s text at last allows the English reader access to the full canon of this aspect of the Surrealist critique: one in which humour, albeit of the blackest variety, is never absent.

Illustrated by Yves Tanguy.



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