Originally published in 1921, The Unruly Bridal Bed brings together ten indefinable tales that include “Tobias and the Prune,” “Plant Paternity,” “The Dissolute Nose,” “Fried Sphinx Meat” and “The Great Gold-Plated Flea.” Under his literary pseudonym Mynona (a palindrome for the German “Anonym,” or “Anonymous”), Salomo Friedlaender here displays his unique brand of philosophical slapstick that blends fairytale technology with proto-metafiction and at times unsettling meditations on fornicating plants, aristocratic eugenics, spiritual and physical hermaphroditism, and our excremental sun. With its companion volume of grotesques, My Papa and the Maid of Orléans, this collection offers a perfect introduction to the great German humorist’s work.
Mentioned in his day in the same breath as Kafka, Mynona, a.k.a. Salomo Friedlaender (1871–1946), was a perfectly functioning split personality: a philosopher by day (author of Friedrich Nietzsche: An Intellectual Biography and Kant for Kids) and a literary absurdist by night, who composed black-humored tales he called Grotesken. His friends and fans included Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin and Karl Kraus. He died in Paris, ill and in poverty, after Thomas Mann refused to help him emigrate to the United States.