One of the things getting me through the rest of this dreadful and snotty season are piles of publishers' catalogs, treasure troves smelling of warm Spring and Summer days. In particular, I'm really, really excited about the fact that 2011 is shaping up to be, at least as far as I'm concerned, the Year of Raymond Roussel.
Roussel (1877-1933) was an eccentric, to say the least, one whose self-published works were met with at best quizzical reviews upon their initial publication, but that have grown steadily more influential--possibly more so due to their cult status--among artists and poets over the years. Admirers include(d) Marcel Duchamp, John Ashbery, and Harry Mathews, among others. Michel Foucault even wrote a study of Roussel. (That is available as both a paperback and a Google eBook.)
While Roussel's work has previously been published in English translation, at the moment all of his work is currently out-of-print in the U.S. Until March, at least, when Princeton UP will publish a new translation of New Impressions of Africa by Roussel biographer Mark Ford.
Until then, I'll keep plugging away at Thomas Bernhard, adding misery to February misery.