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Selected Works

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The poems are in French and English, the prose selections in English translation.

Dynix#: 469064
NNBR#: 700291824
LCCN#: 63017002
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published December 31st 1965 by Grove Press (first published 1965)
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Sep 13, 2010 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, literature, theatre
Alfred Jarry is an acquired taste, most certainly.
If you are familiar with the works of playwrights such as Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, or the novels of Andre Breton, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or Stanley Elkin or Harlan Ellison, then reading Jarry will be a treat. The works of Alfred Jarry are considered precursors to the surrealist, dada, and absurdist movements.
I'd read very little Jarry before this, but I was most impressed with his plays. The 'Ubu' plays are outrageously fun
Ben Winch
Jarry! He's almost more important for what he represents than for his writing: anarchy, the absurd, life as art. To pay him homage is a sly wink in itself, and plenty of noteworthy 'geniuses' have slyly winked thus. Me, I'll take Ubu Roi (his first play, written while he was in high school, infamous in Paris upon its first performances) over the rest of his ouvre any day. It's an out-and-out classic: you could substitute Ubu for any half-witted would-be dictator throughout history (my pick is Au ...more
Mar 02, 2008 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who knows what this word means
This is probably in my top 10 favorite bks. Esp b/c of "Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll Pataphysician - a Neo Scientific Novel" wch was, by far, one of the most original & bizarre novels that I'd read at the time. I often imagine that I'm Jarry reincarnated. Either that or I'm a reincarnation of the sun as "a cool, solid, and homogeneous globe." It depends on wch psychic makes me regress to my past lives. The cheaper ones have me being Jarry's rat-gnawed bike tire but I only partia ...more
May 19, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
sooooooo, I have the ability to check out books from Naropa's Allen Ginsberg Library for...years at a time...and I just can't seem to give this book back. I will give it back, once it is finished having its way with me. Jarry's translator, Simon Watson Taylor, gave this book to Naropa and writes in swirly blue ink:

...for the Naropa Institute Library,
from Simon Watson Taylor,
Boulder, Colo.
May Full Moon, 1981

Fulani Fulani
Jun 10, 2012 Fulani Fulani rated it really liked it
Early surrealism. An acquired taste but great fun, often with underlying critiques of politics and religion. It does feel dated these days, but it's a an icon of a particularly fevered and experimental movement in late 19th/early 20th century literature.
Eric Phetteplace
Nov 27, 2010 Eric Phetteplace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prose
Amusing but not amazing. The Ubu plays were pretty weak, the poems worthless, but the prose in the 2nd half--Dr. Faustroll in particular--was pretty great.
Mar 09, 2009 S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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
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“One can show one's contempt for the cruelty and stupidity of the world by making of one's life a poem of incoherence and absurdity.” 1 likes
“What is a play? A public holiday? A lesson? A pastime? In the first place it might seem that a play ought to be a kind of public holiday, being a show put on for a crowd of citizens gathered together. But we must not forget that there are several different kinds of theater audiences, or at least two: there is the audience of a few intelligent people, and the one that is just a crowd. For the crowd, spectacular shows [...] are mainly a pastime, and maybe just a little bit of a lesson since they are not forgotten quite immediately, but a lesson in mock sentimentality and mock esthetics, which are the only real kind for people like that, and for whom the minority theater seem an incomprehensible bore. This other theater is neither a holiday for its audience, nor a lesson, nor a pastime--it is something real: the elite join in the creation of one of themselves who, among this elite, sees a being come to life in himself that was created by himself: an active pleasure which is God's sole pleasure and which the holiday mob achieves in caricature in the carnal act.” 0 likes
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