Download Pataphysician's Library: An Exploration of Alfred Jarry's by Ben Fisher PDF

By Ben Fisher

The Pataphysician’s Library is a learn of facets of Eighteen Nineties French literature, with particular connection with the traditions of Symbolism and Decadence. Its major concentration is Alfred Jarry, who has proved, might be strangely, to be one of many tougher fin-de-siècle authors. The originality of this learn lies in its use of the enigmatic record of books termed the livres pairs, which seems to be in Jarry’s 1898 novel Gestes et critiques du docteur Faustroll, pataphysicien, his best-known prose paintings. the best curiosity of the livres pairs lies in a gaggle of works through Jarry’s pals and contemporaries, basically Leon Bloy, Georges Darien, Gustave Kahn, Catulle Mendes, Josephin Madan, Rachilde, and Henri de Regnier. numerous of those authors function because the lords of islands visited via the pataphysician Dr Faustroll in his curious voyage round Paris. together with Jarry’s personal works, the modern livres pairs serve to demonstrate the colourful and experimental surroundings during which those authors labored.

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But above all Rachilde was struck by the personal force of Le Mendiant ingrat, which is indeed far clearer and hence stronger than in Le Désespéré, where it is blurred by satire and the imposition of a semi-fictional plot. Granted this quality of Le Mendiant ingrat, Jarry’s change from Le Désespéré seems to involve something more mature than the blind adoption of an author’s latest work, and can represent a more definite statement of interest in certain aspects of the earlier work that would appeal to Jarry, such as the equation of art and life and the general tone of irreverence, which in the journal has an occasional specificity to Jarry’s circle – and which is also, of course, more up to date.

175) The killing of the albatross takes away the ship’s good luck, and the instrument of revenge is the skeletal ship of ‘The Night-mare LIFE-INDEATH’, who casts dice with Death to decide the fate of the Mariner’s ship. Her victory is played out with the sudden death of all aboard except the Ancient Mariner, whose shipmates later practise life in death by manning the ship, although dead, still cursing him with their eyes for the death of the albatross. 2). 537). LUP/Fisher/2 39 13/12/00, 1:47 pm 40 The Pataphysician’s Library Jarry makes quite unexpected use of these images elsewhere, demonstrating a productive aspect of these essences from the livres pairs.

498). Such a world-view (applied to the particular world in question) would surely appeal to Jarry as an early parallel to Dr Faustroll’s revelation of an alternative Universe to be created, contained and grasped within the intellect. And just as Faustroll approaches and measures God at the end of his voyage, Cyrano attempts to characterise the processes of thought by giving them a physical existence. 424) – the narrator Dyrcona returning from the Moon. 658). L’Histoire des Oiseaux exemplifies the intense pantheism that pervades the Soleil.

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