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Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  483 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Alfred Jarry is best known as the author of the proto-Dada play "Ubu Roi," but this anarchic novel of absurdist philosophy is widely regarded as the central work to his oeuvre. Refused for publication in the author's lifetime, "Exploits and Opinion of Dr. Faustroll" recounts the adventures of the inventor of "Pataphysics . . . the science of imaginary solutions." ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 15th 1996 by Exact Change (first published 1911)
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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
May 01, 2015 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis added it
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: Chuck LoPresti
By way of making some introductory remarks, Roger Shattuck,Proveditor-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 littl ...more
Zadignose
May 01, 2015 Zadignose added it
Shelves: 20th-century
I was sadly disappointed by this book. I had high expectations, but found the reading experience largely tedious. My principal critique would have to be that, though the book is outrageous and silly, and thus appears to court laughs, it's actually mostly unfunny.

It has produced a significant conflict within me. I have, at a certain time past, written a certain work with only one guiding principle: do not limit or constrain one's creativity in any way. That is, I aimed to write without any concer
...more
Vit Babenco
Jul 10, 2015 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing
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 golden spermatozoa” and “from his groin down to his feet, in contrast, he was sheathed in a satyric black fur, for he was man to an improper degree.”
And with the genius of his impeccable mind he created Pataphysics “that is the science of that wh
...more
Steve Morrison

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.
Lee Foust
Sep 22, 2016 Lee Foust rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 greatest of all novels for its scientific complexity, utterly trivial silliness, homage to so many friends, send up of Sir john Mandeville's travels, and the finest-drawn of all loquacious characters in the history of literature, Bosse-de-Nage, the butt-cheek-faced baboon cabin ...more
Amira Hanafi
May 01, 2015 Amira Hanafi rated it it was amazing
Reading this is like having a gas enter your ear and float about just touching some neurons and just as quickly float back out. Maybe it leaves a molecule. The molecule is pronounced "HA HA".
Dan
May 01, 2015 Dan rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
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 consequences, as they visit different fantastic islands. The novel includes a lecture by Faustroll on ’Pataphysics.

The 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 s
...more
Wreade1872
A surreal boat trip, utter garbage. You can't even picture its absurdities due to the impenetrable style of writing. Keeping a dictionary beside you might help a very little. Also its made up of references or homages to other works few of which i or anyone else is likely to have read.
There are many other things which make it hard to read, such as its scientific references or mathematical jokes.
But i know this must be ART. I can tell because i got the exact same feeling from this as i do when i
...more
Stevenson
May 01, 2015 Stevenson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Jarry's greatest novel. It tells the tale of Dr Fuastroll, an arse faced baboon called Bose-de-Nage and a Baliff in their travels around Paris in a sieve.

This Paris is a 'Pataphysical reinversion of the actual Paris whereby it constructed as a series of islands. The Islands themselves depict the essence of certain artists - friends and enemies of Jarry.

Dr Faustroll dies although what that actually means is up for conjecture, and the end of the novel is his scientific equation for the surface of
...more
Andrew
I read Ubu Roi in high school, and remember it as being rather surreal and wacky, but in his novel, Jarry is more or less stringing together Tom Waits lyrics. Well, really Frenchy ones-- he's cut from the same black-and-white striped cloth as Raymond Queneau and Blaise Cendrars, all bicycles and wine bottles and accordions and what not, which I don't mind at all. The text itself is barely a narrative, but you kind of just groove on the images, and, this is important, it's short enough that the ...more
Mark
May 01, 2015 Mark added it
It's a very Rabelais type book, but the changes in shift and tone are even more random. What's surprising to me, coming from the Ubu Plays, is just how beautiful Jarry's prose really is-- he wasn't some hack, he could really write. Anyway, this book is essentially just a beautiful and funny fable. Ha ha.
Steve
May 01, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing
The root of 'pataphysics and an unrelentingly weird novel by the master of such, Faustroll is really funny in an occluded way and has much to teach burgeoning lunatics.
Pedro Zavala
Oct 03, 2016 Pedro Zavala rated it really liked it
No wonder I have a blog with a very similar title, you need to read it to find out the total surface of god, the real shape of the clocks or even all the exceptions.
Oya Özgün
TANIM: Pata fizik hayali çözümler bilimidir; potansiyel olarak tanımlanmış nesnelerin özelliklerini, taslak görüntülere sembolik olarak atfeder.

Güncel bilim, tümevarım ilkesine dayanır: Çoğu insan, falanca görüngünün bir başka görüngüden önce geldiğine ya da peşisıra onu izlediğine çoğu zaman tanık olduğundan, hep böyle olacağı sonucunu çıkarmıştır. Öncelikle bu, sıklıkla doğrudur; bakış açısına bağlıdır ve kullanıma uygun olup olmamasına göre kodlandırılır. Bitmedi! İnsan bedenlerinin bir merke
...more
Nick Crawford
Feb 01, 2016 Nick Crawford rated it really liked it
I cracked open my copy because it was the most bizarre volume that I had at hand. It quelled my fears of dwelling on too many mundane thoughts for my writing, but it's no great aid or inspiration, not that it had to be.

Scanning through these reviews, there's a lot of blind praise and a lot of not so blind disgust that this writing is rife with references and structures that ask for the reader to turn elsewhere for understanding--a less rewarding Joyce, basically. They're both right.

There are seg
...more
Tom
May 01, 2015 Tom rated it it was ok
Stars for the book's importance in influencing dada and surrealism; lack of stars for its tedium. "Exploits" often reminded me of Melville's "The Confidence-Man," which consisted of numerous set pieces that introduced type after type of person found traveling the Mississippi, just as "Exploits" encounters a variety of eccentric figures, often based on Jarry's friends. In both books, "encounters" is the operative verb--it's all "Hail, fellow! Well met!," then on to the next chapter. Books don't ...more
Ryan
May 01, 2015 Ryan rated it it was ok
Alfred Jarry started the movement called 'pataphysics which is a sort of extension of science, metaphysics, and religion. The principles of 'pataphysics are conspicuously given in this experimental book. The language is beautiful, always courting poetry. But it needs a ton of annotations to be understood. Well, maybe not a ton, but surely ample footnotes. The uninitiated (like me) will either appreciate the surreal prose poems which soar like kites, or blink helpless at the surreal passages ...more
Matt Webb
May 01, 2015 Matt Webb rated it really liked it
Like the other Jarry, I'm not sure I liked it while I was reading it, and I definitely didn't understand, but there's something under the surface - the ideas, the worldview - which has stuck with me more than most books I read, and it's growing with time.

And here's the definition:

'pataphysics ... is the science of that which is superinduced upon metaphysic ... extending as far beyond metaphysics as the latter extends beyond physics. Ex: an epiphenomenon being often accidental, pataphysics will b
...more
23
May 01, 2015 23 rated it really liked it
As a fairly unread reader, this work is pretty dense and nebulous and very heady with lots of references. I think other reviewers have done a better job highlighting the difficulty in understanding the work. Undoubtedly I'll have to come back and read it again to come to a greater understanding.

Despite that, Jarry has an uncanny talent at surreal and whimsical language. So many of the stories are just so succinctly written and beautifully described. 2 stars for difficulty, 5 stars for imaginatio
...more
César
Jul 02, 2015 César rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo leí, pero sé que sólo le rasqué un poquito la superficie. Leer a Jarry es enfrentarse siempre al riesgo de una humillación: la de reconocer que uno, como simple mortal pusilánime, tiene una imaginación limitada, torpe, yerma, que puede verse arrollada por un genio violento como el de San Alfredo (como lo llama un amigo).
Keith Edwards
Nov 02, 2015 Keith Edwards rated it it was amazing
One of the strangest books you'll ever read, Faustroll is a proto-surrealist novel written at the turn of the 20th century. A mock odyssey, it follows Faustroll the titular 'Pataphysician as he, a hydrocephalic baboon and a bailiff travel through imaginary worlds that are also parts of Paris and a brief history of late 19th century art in a boat that is also a sieve.
Valentina
Per il compleanno regalatemi un Bosse-de-Nage.
Non posso mettere le stelle perché ci ho capito un cazzo. Pieno di riferimenti satirici ad altre cose e ad altri autori, richiederebbe degli approfondimenti che non ho voglia di fare.
Sicuramente visionario ed in qualche modo interessante, mi dà l'impressione che Jarry si sia spaccato dalle risate mentre lo scriveva.
Anthony
May 01, 2015 Anthony rated it really liked it
a sort of dada odyssey-- dr. faustroll sails in a sieve to a series of surreal islands in a "pataphysical" quest for knowledge with a talking baboon for a navigator (who, incidentally, can only say "ha ha"). "GOD IS THE TANGENTIAL POINT BETWEEN ZERO AND INFINITY."
Dave
May 01, 2015 Dave rated it liked it
I am very thankful that this book had annotations. Jarry was from a time when knowledge of classical work was the mark of education. He makes a lot of references that were lost on me. The story itself was fairly interesting, if a bit, I don't know, absurd...
Gustl
May 01, 2015 Gustl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questo libro di Jarry, ha tutta l'apparenza di una grossa ragnatela sulla grata interna raggiunge le onde esterne.
Componimento Dadaista, 30 anni prima del cut up di W.Burroughs.
Dan
May 01, 2015 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
objectively, one of the best books i've ever read.
why didn't anyone tell me about this book sooner?
Maria Magdalena
La duración es la transformación de una sucesión en una reversión.
Es decir:
EL DEVENIR DE UNA MEMORIA.
Antiabecedarian
May 01, 2015 Antiabecedarian rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: novice dictators
Good times. Learn how to sail a green sea in a sieve. Any need or desire for the study of Shakespeare's foils is removed, it is the Source of Fools.
Barış Özgür
une sinistre expérience formulée comme étant un herman melville français multiplié par un henri rousseau américain. alors que c'est l'océan qui parlait en résultat, heidegger le nommera "sein".
Buck
May 01, 2015 Buck added it
I know I read it but I can't remember a damn thing about it.
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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 side.
Best 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
...more
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