First published in French in 1950 in a limited edition of 100
copies, then republished in 1953 (and enthusiastically praised by
Andre 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 Ballare."
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