The long-awaited new translation of the most dazzling and unclassifiable work of fiction in any language. In a mythical African land, some shipwrecked and uniquely talented passengers stage a grand gala to entertain themselves and their captor, the great chieftain Talou. In performance after bizarre performance starring, among others, a zither-playing worm, a marksman who can peel an egg at fifty yards, a railway car that rolls on calves lungs, and fabulous machines that paint, weave, and compose music Raymond Roussel demonstrates why it is that André Breton termed him the greatest mesmerizer of modern times. But even more remarkable than the mind-bending events Roussel details as well as their outlandish, touching, or tawdry backstories is the principle behind the novel s genesis, a complex system of puns and double-entendres that anticipated (and helped inspire) such movements as Surrealism and Oulipo. Newly translated and with an introduction by Mark Polizzotti, this edition of Impressions of Africa vividly restores the humor, linguistic legerdemain, and conceptual wonder of Raymond Roussel s magnum opus.