Ugly Duckling Presse

Saint Ghetto of the Loans
Saint Ghetto of the Loans

Gabriel Pomerand

translated by M. Kasper, Bhamati Viswanatham

Poetry $14
Out of Print"A truly major event."
Saint Ghetto of the Loans reissues a legendary but little seen masterpiece of French book art from 1950, by the Lettrist Gabriel Pomerand. The prose poem text appears in segments on left-hand pages (bilingually, in this edition), and its French words and syllables are represented visually by dazzling pictographs—rebuses—on pages facing.

About the Author

Gabriel Pomerand
Born in Paris in 1926, Gabriel Pomerand was a habitué of the Left Bank bars, cafes, and clubs after the Second World War. He co-founded the Lettrist movement with Isidore Isou in the winter of 1945-1946. A prolific writer—though rarely published, and then in small editions—and painter, Pomerand withdrew from most Lettrist activities during the 1950s. He committed suicide in 1972 on the island of Corsica.

About the Translator

Among M. Kasper’s previous translations are The Lamp’s Tales & Other Short Prose, by Paul Colinet (with Rochelle Ratner; Pleasure Editions), Correspondance: The Birth of Belgian Surrealism (with Jan Baetens; Peter Lang), The Development of Aerial Militarism and The Demobilization of European Ground Forces, Fortresses and Naval Fleets, by Paul Scheerbart (UDP), and Saint Ghetto of the Loans, by Gabriel Pomerand (with Bhamati Viswanathan, UDP). Kasper — who was born in the Bronx (1947), lived overseas for some years, and worked as a librarian for many in western Massachusetts — has also published artists’ books including Kirghiz Steppes: Accumulated Verbo-Visuals (Black Scat), Open-Book (UDP), The Shapes and Spacing of the Letters (2nd ed., highmoonoon & the London Institute of ‘Pataphysics), All Cotton Briefs (2nd ed., Benzene), and Plans for the Night (Benzene). As Christopher Middleton said, “A Kasper a day keeps the moodles away.”

Advance Praise

Every 20th century art movement has certain works that acquire mythic status by their combination of idiosyncratic oddity and rarity. This fascinating work has mainly been known through reproduction of a handful of its pages and this exciting republication will finally bring attention to this amazing piece of graphic experimental writing.—JOHANNA DRUCKER
T]he bi-lingual appearance this year of Gabriel Pomerand’s legendary and very rare 1950 visual rebuses/textual booklength prose poem Saint Ghetto of the Loans [is] a truly major event. It provides a kind of physical Rosetta Stone (in a doubled way) for each reader’s further anarkeyological researches into the past and living world of Lettrism, as well as inspiration for artists/poets in many media to do verbivisivoci work in and outside the range of media the Lettrists continue very much to work in. Ugly Duckling Presse couldn’t have picked a better book, in an excellent translation by Michael Kaspar and Bhamati Viswanathan, to begin its Lost Literature Series with.—Galatea Resurrects