Alfred Jarry

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Jarry, Alfred

Jarry, Alfred (älfrĕdˈ zhärēˈ), 1873–1907, French author. He was well known in Paris for his eccentric and dissolute behavior and for his insistence on the superiority of hallucinations over rational intelligence. His most famous work is the satirical farce Ubu Roi [Ubu the king] (1896, tr. 1961), with a repulsive and cowardly hero based on one of his old schoolteachers. He also wrote surrealistic verse stories, which, although witty, are also blasphemous and scatological. They include Les Minutes de sable mémorial [the moments of a monument in sand] (1894), César-Antéchrist [Caesar-Antichrist] (1895, tr. 1972), L'Amour en visites [love on visits] (1898), L'Amour absolu [absolute love] (1899), and Le Surmale (1902), as well as another play, Ubu enchaîné [Ubu in chains] (1902).


See his Ubu Plays (tr. 1969); biography by A. Brotchie (2011); study by K. Beaumont (1985).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Jarry, Alfred


Born Sept. 8, 1873, in Laval, Mayenne Department; died Nov. 1, 1907, in Paris. French writer.

Jarry became known for his grotesque comic farce Ubu roi (1896). The character of his depraved and ruthless hero, typified in the spirit of guignol traditions, contains a criticism of the bourgeois world. In The Almanacs of Papa Ubu (1899) and the play Ubu Enslaved (1900), Jarry satirically exposed the sociopolitical and moral principles in France of his day. He published the novels Days and Nights (1897) and The Supermale (1902). In The Deeds and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll (1898), Jarry ridiculed the philistine “common sense.” His experimental writings, imbued with the spirit of negation, influenced such writers as Apollinaire, lonesco, A. Adamov, and L. Aragon.


Oeuvres complètes, vols. 1–8. Paris, 1948.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol.4. Moscow, 1963.
Balashov, N. I. “Apolliner i ego mesto vo frantsuzskoi poezii.” In Apolliner, G.: Stikhi. Moscow, 1967.
Lot, F. Alfred Jarry, son oeuvre. Paris, 1934.
Levesque, L-H. Alfred Jarry. [Paris, 1954 and 1967.]
Perche, L. Jarry. Paris, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sketching the twentieth-century genealogy of practitioners attentive to theatre as space ranging from Peter Brook in the 1960s back to Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi in 1896, the authors situate W.B.
The Subversive Poetics of Alfred Jarry: Ubusing Culture in the Almanachs du Pere Ubu.
The artists' eclectic repertoire of sources ranges from Sextus Propertius and Plautus through Victor Hugo and Alfred Jarry to Jorge Luis Borges and Rene Daumal, from whose 1938 novel A Night of Serious Drinking they've borrowed the term ahyssology, the study of the abyss, applying it to their creative practice.
The fourteen essays in this volume connect such narrative de-formations to frameworks as diverse as Alfred Jarry's theory of pata-physics, Christian Literary Theory, and science fiction.
Performed in French with English surtitles, writer Alfred Jarry's brutal satire about abuse of power was outlawed in 1896 for its scandalous language and disrespect for authority.
But the irritation, at least I found, begins to wear off as the reader becomes drawn into free flowing conversations with art, artists and critics and the creative pursuit of connections, usually visual, often seemingly unlikely within modern art, from the similarities between Guido Reni's Massacre of the Innocents and Picasso's Guernica, to William Anastasi's excavation of 'obscure yet amazingly proliferate connections between Alfred Jarry, the proto-Dadaist ...
The Ubu Plays are a swirling fusion of dada, surrealism, Theater of Cruelty, and Theater of the Absurd--except that they predate and anticipate all of those movements, which emerged from the boundless imagination of Alfred Jarry.
The Third Policeman celebrates, albeit skeptically, a metafictional poetics that was also embraced by pataphysics, a concept introduced by Alfred Jarry and embraced by the Oulipo, and which has echoes in writers such as Joyce and Cortazar.
Alfred Jarry. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.