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For April Fools' Day, a celebrated literary hoax
For April Fools' Day, a celebrated literary hoax

The Scottish novelist Alexander Trocchi, who died in 1984 at age 59, was a prime mover in the Paris expatriate scene of the 1950s, founding the literary journal Merlin — the first venue to publish Samuel Beckett in English. If you’ve never heard of him, though, you’re not alone. Trocchi essentially gave up writing after the publication of his 1960 novel “Cain’s Book,” and descended into heroin addiction, declaring himself a “cosmonaut of inner space.” While in Paris, Trocchi cranked out six novels in three years — most of them so-called “dbs” (dirty books) for Maurice Girodias’ Olympia Press. Olympia...

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