Alfred Jarry: Gestes et opinions du docteur Faustroll pataphysicien

It is impossible to summarize this book with any clarity Suffice it to say it feels like a mash up of Rabelais and vivid proto Daliesue imagery he would have made the perfect illustrator with loads of absurdist humor and allusions to Jarry s friends in the Symbolist and Decadent movements of fin de si cle France woven into the narrative Beyond his iconic and better known Ubu plays it s certainly easy to see here how he became a hero and inspiration to the Dadaists and Surrealists decades laterThis particular edition is also beautifully presented raphically and features an insightful introduction by Roger Shattuck who introduced me to Jarry so unforgettably in his The Banuet Years long ago and also includes helpful footnotes to explain the esoteric references that pop up often Not for everyone but a real pleasure if you re inclined to Since by the laws of pataphysics each thing defines and supersedes it s opposite thing this worst of all novels because lacking an acceptable narrative or believable characters or a coherent point is of course the The Way Between the Worlds (The View from the Mirror, greatest of all novels fo I was sadly disappointed by this book I had high expectations but found the reading experience largely tedious My principal critiue would have to be that though the book is outrageous and silly and thus appears to court laughs it s actually mostly unfunnyIt has produced a significant conflict within me I have at a certain time past written a certain work with only oneuiding principle do not limit or constrain one s creativity in any way That is I aimed to write without any concern for practicality of execution without forcing the work to make any degree of sense and without meeting any definition of what such a work should accomplish I found the results satisfying though the final text remains secreted on a metaphorical shelf hidden from prying eyesPoint Two I also Inverloch Volume 4 generally believe that an artist should be entirely uncompromising and thus should notive any regard to audienceIn this book Exploits etc Jarry is absolutely unconstrained in fact far beyond what I thought unconstrained could mean He is also entirely uncompromising So I should like the result right Or else I should uestion my own principals perhapsWell noIn fact I think I will enjoy this book in retrospect than I did while in the process of actually reading it Will it undergo a similar transformation within my mind to what Even Dwarves Started Small the Herzog Film did Only time will tell In the case of that film I profoundly disliked watching it and it irked me reatly but then I found myself talking about the film far often than I d have expected and then I suspected that I really liked it and my obsession with it virtually proved that the film had had a profound impact on me Well hummmBut here s another reflection Faustroll is not surrealism but it may be regarded as a sort of proto surrealism as the surrealists were inspired by Jarry and his works But anyway there is a sort of literaturefilmartwhatever which is difficult to label some might call it surrealism or absurdism or dadaism or Oulipo or weirdism or whatever and it doesn t uite matter that proponents of these various schools and movements disagreed strongly in their theories intentions self images and definitions Let s just call it surrealism for now just for kicks and that will be the starting point for my next paragraphOne example of a faith that I hold is that surrealism is not a immick and it s unfair to regard it as one Conventional narrative can include a near infinite variety of products ood and bad effective and affective or their opposites without limit to the forms that can be produced yet many forms may roup themselves around the enericcliche Anyway if we see surrealism as not a immick but an alternative way then there could be as many or infinite forms effects and affects « Tout est dans Faustroll affrmait Boris Vian y compris la manière de cuire un mouton vivant jusu’à la halte du cuit à point»Le Faustroll est le maître livre d’Alfred Jarry Au cours de sa navigation sur terre ferme le savant docteur révèle au singe Bosse de Nage « ui ne savait de parole humaine ue ha ha » à l’huissier Panmuphle ui consigne tout par écrit et au lecteur les plus singulières uintessences de la littérature de l’ar.

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C narrative as a parody of travel journals and picaresue novels If though Faustroll is intended as anti literary how is one to rank it As George Carlin asks If you try to fail and succeed which have you done I m iving to this book three stars one for its indifference to literary convention and readers expectations a second for the way it throws a Godelian monkey wrench into the machinery of critical ranking systems half a star for the sophomoric story and another half a star for its style consider this for instance The meshed base unsinkable because of its oily coating rested upon the waves denticulation like a sturgeon upon several harpoons and beneath it was a keyboard of water and air alternately 95 By way of making some introductory remarks Roger ShattuckProveditor General Propagator for the Islands and the Americas Regent by Transseant Susception of the Chair of Applied Mateology GMOGG says The canons of literary taste as they have hardened in the twentieth century leave little place for Rabelais FMF et al had already poured that concrete already so early that it didn t almost even have a chance And you ll recall what was said in Twelve and a Tilly We must become as little children for they have no difficulty with Finnegans Wake They have no taste they can enjoy ood writing as well as bad Only with time and teaching do they learn to prefer the bad Twas brillig and the slithy toves Did yre and imble in the wabe ETC And therewith I confess reserving all due respect and placing no blame that it is in fact possible to have Every Boys Dream good sense andood taste educated out of a person I don t think educated out of is the correct phrase Ha ha So there s no place today for a Jarry Either that or there s so damn many Jarry s suffocating us all that who needs yet another Jarry from 1898 Well yes Who needs Jarry indeed As long as I ve still Starflight Zero got my pataphycians card dues paid in advance what the hell do I care what the rest of you have to say about Jarry Jarry Jerry uite contrary Who s field is this anyways His No I ll be damn ed it s not his field any than its yorns and beob d if I think it s that A AThe novel about Dr Faustroll which is really a biography and could even be a smartly disguised autobiography or travelogue like the one about invisible cities or even one of those apocalyptic things in the tradition of Ezekiel s wheels and John s four horses is really in fact a Roman a clef On page 58 you ll find the clef Treble only No bass it bothers the neighbors I don t recall any of those outstanding type of Romans but I ve no doubt they were there since they are in fact and in truth the ancestors of the Italian Mafia after whom the Amish model d theirs and they as you know can be found everywhere even up on the top treble clef singing probably both alto and soprano I may be mistaken but it could have been a Roman a cliff but then wouldn t likely have been a Dover cliff a weise You ll know all about those Romans and their clef when you read all the answers in the back provided by the translator But whatever you think about Romans and cliffs it will endure beyond even the reach of pataphysics which itself reaches beyond metaphysics which itself reaches beyond physics which itself reaches beyond icks that A A Ha ha And before I leave you to A Succession of Bad Days go drown in whatever syrupy prose you might find yourself currently inwhich drowning I d just like to point to a potentially fruitful area of pataphysical research And it is uite simply and uite directly and uite obviously this What precisely is the status of the Apostrophe in pataphysics The answer should be obvious but then when one reads the sacred texts closely it becomes suddenly and little by little not uite so clear that there is any kind of apo consistancy Perhaps it is only in so far as it remains the crux of the biscuit La Pataphysiue est la science. I bien les allusions à la vie littéraire de l’époue ue la langue somptueuse de Jarry et ses emprunts à Rabelais ou auxrands scientiues u’il lisait assidûment« Société de recherches savantes et inutiles » le Collège de Pataphysiue institué en 1948 a réuni ou réunit encore des esprits aussi originaux ue Raymond ueneau Marcel Duchamp Ionesco ou Arrabal mais aussi des érudits hors norme ui entre autres ont fondé les études jarryue.

Tc etc I bore myself sometimes as what can be produced within conventional narrative There s no particular reason why the world could not produce and publish 30000 surrealist novels every year with as much variance in uality and content as we see among conventional works like The Pelican Brief and Tristram Shandy the latter being very odd but NOT surreal and thus conventional in only this limited sense plus it was a bestseller in its day so oddly enough mainstreamSo the point is not all odd books are of a class They can widely vary in degree of accomplishment and in what they attempt to achieve But critiuing them can be a pain in the ass and evaluation can be an aesthetic judgment that does not readily lend itself to the conventional terms used in critiuing conventional worksDr Faustroll didn t deliver a form of The Multi-Orgasmic Man greatness that I can uite enjoy or appreciate while I allow for the fact that this somewhat adolescent antic of a book was provocative enough to inspire later accomplished works to venture into previously unexplored territoryI say this despite the fact that this book reminds me of me far than I enjoy having to admit Consciousness raising and mind blowing I know immediately that I am keeping this book in my possession and it willo on my shelf indefinitely I wish I could carry it An amazing title Concerns the surreal odyssey of one Dr Faustroll who among other things sails in a sieve with his baboon and visits a series of bizarre and satirical islands all apparently located within downtown Paris before transforming into an astral body and attempting to calculate the surface of God Along the way he invents pataphysics which is described as the science of imaginary solutions It s all very Rabelaisan and loads of fun Re reading all the stuff that I wrote my master thesis about and realising with thankfulness what an impact these ideas have had on my life Will write about these books at length in my blog when I can find the time Bodily Doctor Faustroll was a strange hybrid of Faust and troll the hairs of his head alternately platinum blonde and jet black an auburn ambiguity changing according to the sun s position his eyes two capsules of ordinary writing ink flecked with olden spermatozoa from his roin down to his feet in contrast he was sheathed in a satyric black fur for he was man to an improper degreeAnd with the The Great Passage genius of his impeccable mind he created cosmic scie Either I am too stupid or this book is stupid Am I stupid No is this book stupid Well define stupid I use this word actually to point some facts pretentious too visual but not in the surrealist Boris Vian kind of visual tries to joggle with the idea of journey At least in a journey book youet some interesting story everywhere where the hero lands Here there are only bor This novel does not have much of a plot It depicts a three men in a tub situation to be exact two men and a baboon The three experience a series of adventures some with mortal conseuences as they visit different fantastic islands The novel includes a lecture by Faustroll on PataphysicsThe writing with sentences like The place where the sun sets has the appearance between the folds comprising the Town s mesentery of the vermiform appendix of a caecum 59 will send some readers scrambling for their dictionaries Others though may enjoy Jarry s sense of humor but for pure farce Jarry s play Ubu Roi is probably a better choice than Doctor FaustrollJarry was a Dadaist and Dadaism was a paradoxical movement seeking to produce anti art one of the better known Dadaist works was a signed urinal a readymade attributed to Marcel Duchamp In this context perhaps the ridiculously mannered style and the episodic and ultimately pointless narrative reflect an anti artistic anti literary impulse although an argument could be made that Jarry intends the episodi. T et de la science de son temps l’ouvrage fut écrit en 1897 1898 et définit la Pataphysiue « science des solutions imaginaires » ui culmine dans le calcul de la surface de DieuAinsi la Pataphysiue née avec Ubu parmi les arnements du lycée de Rennes atteint elle une dimension ubuniverselle Fondée sur les deux manuscrits existants révisée et mise à jour cette édition propose un riche commentaire avec documents illustrés éclairant auss.

Alfred Jarry was a French writer born in Laval Mayenne France not far from the border of Brittany; he was of Breton descent on his mother's sideBest known for his play Ubu Roi 1896 which is often cited as a forerunner to the surrealist theatre of the 1920s and 1930s Jarry wrote in a variety of genres and styles He wrote plays novels poetry essays and speculative journalism His texts p