I have just heard for the first time the expression “to make soup”: it means to mix the bottom-of-the-pocket drugs of everyone huddled in the club toilet stall, opened MD, ketamine, old dry speed, crushed e pills, to make big lines that will let us forget the past forty-eight hours that have been so difficult.

In Instagram-style vignettes that span Montreal, New York, and Berlin, our narrator — a doctoral student in medieval studies — leads us through the bathrooms and back rooms of clubs and raves as he explores the sex, drugs, and music that define queer nightlife.

Accompanied by Jacob Pyne’s full-colour illustrations, which perfectly punctuate the narrator’s occasional self-destructive melancholy, Scenes from the Underground delivers the fully uninhibited field notes of the club scene.

Available from House of Anansi Press

Written by: Gabriel Cholette

Illustrated by: Jacob Pyne

Translated by: Elina Taillon

GABRIEL CHOLETTE (@gab.cho) scours the New York, Berlin, and Montreal underground scenes for literary material, which he writes on using the codes of Instagram. He is also finishing a thesis on the commercial imagination in medieval French literature.

Montreal artist JACOB PYNE (@cumpug) explores themes of sexual identity, relationships, and anonymous sex from a queer perspective. His intimate and erotically charged scenes are inspired by his personal experiences and desires.

ELINA TAILLON is a queer, neurodiverse writer, M.F.A. candidate in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing program and the former managing editor at PRISM international magazine. She also holds a Master’s degree in French literature from the University of Toronto. She has published book reviews in PRISM and Young Adulting, prose in Déraciné and filling Station, and poetry in CV2 and The /tƐmz/ Review. This is her first translation for Arachnide.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.