Sunday, February 13, 2011

Alfred Jarry - L'Ymagier etc

I'm hoping that at some point, a fine facsimile will be published of L'Ymagier, the short-lived magazine co-edited by Remy de Gourmont and Alfred Jarry.  The magazine ended after about one year, after eight issues.  Jarry only edited the first four issues. 

Some parts of L'Ymagier issues were on view in 1998, at the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas, in the exhibition 'Ubu's Almanac: Alfred Jarry and the Graphic Arts.'

In my opinion, perhaps it's best that Alfred Jarry is an enigma and remains so, all the more since 'pataphysics can only be patently absurd for the almost unanimous partisans and purveyors of Instrumental Reason...and although its return of the repressed is Ubu. There aren't many biographical or critical studies of Jarry, particularly in English.  Many people may have come to know of Jarry through Roger Shattuck's classic 'The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I' (1955).  

An ok recent book, Jill Fell's 'Alfred Jarry' (Reaktion, 2010).

Christian Bok's ''Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science' (Northwestern University Press, 2001) is a problematically productive take on 'pataphysics. 

Above links for College de 'Pataphysique and The London Institute of 'Pataphysics as well as Atlas Press.