Introduction Alfred Jarry -Quel est ce pierrot? Les Argonautes lui confrent du gnie, parce que le public vient de siffler sa pice. Cest tout de mme ce quon a donn de plus curieux au thtre depuis longtemps - Jaime beaucoup Ubu Roi, dit Sarah, et je suis trs contente de rencontrer Jarry. On mavait dit quil tait toujours ivre. He is the subject of the above conversation between Sarah, newcomer to the literary milieu, and the Comte de Passavant, fashionable writer and dandy. While the first views Jarry as a sort of curiosity, the latter is cynical about Jarrys merits as a writer.
Their words are in fact quite typical of the way some tended to view Alfred Jarry in real life: a drunken clown and creator of one infamous play, Ubu Roi Jarrys brief career, despite the notoriety of Ubu Roi, was problematic due to his often difficult personality and the non-conformity of his writing. Lack of success and income combined with his destructive behaviour eventually led to his early death at the age of Jarry made his literary debut at the height of the Symbolist and Decadent movement and was a contemporary of writers such as Gide, Valry, Claudel and Proust.
Jarrys work could however never be easily classified amongst that of writers or literary movements of his day. Furthermore, anecdotes about Jarrys bohemian life have often overshadowed the merits of his writing. With the exception of Ubu Roi, his texts have remained known primarily by a handful of scholars, amateurs and artists.
Posthumously Jarry has been hailed by scholars, writers and artists as the embodiment of avant-garde experiment and artistic innovation. His work has often been compared to that of other singular authors such as Lautramont, and labelled as an influence on a new generation of twentieth century writers and artists, including Apollinaire or Picasso, and avant-garde movements, such as Dada or Surrealism. Branches of the original Collge are now found in several countries, including England and the Netherlands.
Other evidence of Jarrys continuing legacy is the fact that an important contemporary website for experimental media and poetry is named after Pre Ubu.
The Almanachs du Pre Ubu. However, whereas many writers, artists and scholars have claimed him as the spiritual ancestor of several avant-garde movements, few, I feel, have sufficiently explained what exactly made Jarrys work so singular in his own time and so inspirational for later generations.
Studying Jarry I became intrigued by two texts which had escaped scholarly attention up until now; the Almanachs du Pre Ubu, published in and They occupy a rather odd position in Jarrys oeuvre, as they do not fit a specific label or genre, not even within the eclectic corpus that is Jarrys literary work. I wondered if maybe the answer to the question how Jarrys poetics challenged contemporary artistic norms could be found in these Almanachs, which even among Jarrys own texts, seemed to defy labelling or literary norms.
Could they perhaps provide keys to Jarrys poetics and help explain Jarrys place in literary and artistic history? The Almanacs in print The initial Almanach du Pre Ubu, illustr was literally forgotten for a long time. The first ever edition of Jarrys complete works published in left it out entirely. Despite its eight volumes, the edition was not as complete as its title suggested.
It was included in the complete works from mentioned previously. Noel Arnaud, Alfred Jarry. Morel incorporated parts of the second Almanac in his edition of Ambroise Vollards Ubu works. Even in publications by the Collge de Pataphysique, which have provided valuable context for Jarrys work, the two works have rarely been discussed. Although in it was remarked, concerning the lack of critical commentary in the Tout Ubu edition, that someday someone would have to write a dissertation about the Almanacs.
In Nol Arnaud praised the first small almanac, in particular its tonnante srie de dessins de Bonnard and mentioned some of its themes. Others have sometimes expressed uneasiness towards the two works. It is telling that in the preface to the edition of Jarrys work, Ren Massat grouped the second Almanac together with Jarrys divertissements.
Discussing the figure of Ubu, Elke Krumm wrote that, compared to the other Ubu works, the absurdities dominate and that both Almanacs merely aim to entertain.
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He labels some parts of the Almanacs as mildly amusing, while most of the satire and nonsense falls, according to him, rather flat. Ubu is only staged as a would be wit and entertainer. Beaumonts harsh verdict is that for these and other reasons although he fails to mention which ones the two Almanacs must rate as relatively minor works.
D'Ubu Roi au docteur Faustroll, pp. Jarry should have composed this work is not immediately clear, but it probably arose partly as a much needed money-making exercise and partly as a nod to Rabelais. Positive evaluations of the Almanacs are scarce. In his biography of Jarry from , Besnier calls the first Almanac an atypical publication, which would have escaped attention of the conventional press. The most far-reaching appraisal of the Almanacs however can be found in an article by Mary Shaw.
She briefly discusses the Almanacs as literary representatives of Montmartres humorist cabaret culture. Contrary to most scholars, she considers the Almanacs to be in certain respects the most radical and avant-garde of Jarrys productions. Shaws comments remain quite general as Jarry is not the focus of her article.
However her remarks, together with Besniers observation that the Almanacs defied contemporary artistic norms, in my opinion, are a call for a closer look at these atypical and rebellious works. Aims of this study. In this thesis I hypothesize that the Almanacs are indeed two of Jarrys most radical works in which his subversive poetics came to full expression.
Furthermore I hypothesize that with the Almanacs a breaking point occurred 19J. Colloques de Cerisy, ed. Henri Bordillon Paris: Belfond, , p. I argue that the poetics expressed in these two works represented a departure from the Symbolism of his earlier works and a transition to a more singular and more modern aesthetic, possessing many of the features that foreshadow literary and artistic innovations of the twentieth century.
A discussion of the Almanacs and Jarrys poetics contributes to a broader understanding of literary and artistic changes in this period. By relating the Almanacs to their cultural historical context I will show how the aesthetics of the texts reflected contemporary culture. A rapid succession of new inventions and phenomena took place around , such as the advent of faster means of transportation, press and advertising on a large scale, new ways of communication, cinematography etc. As a result, a new set of literary strategies responding to modern, everyday life seemed to surface in the Almanacs.
In this book I will demonstrate how, in the Almanacs, this context affected concepts of authorship, the advent of a collage aesthetic, arts relationship to everyday life and literatures commitment to contemporary issues. More broadly it illustrates how literary works respond to cultural and social changes of their time, not only in content but also through form. With this thesis I particularly aim to provide more insight in Jarrys innovative poetics, of which the Almanacs are in many ways exemplary.
Scholars have generally seemed wary when it comes to interpreting Jarrys writing, considered hermetic and complex. Fisher for example, in the conclusion to his book on Faustroll, writes that it is often difficult to approach this apparently unapproachable writer. I will therefore discuss some key characteristics of Jarrys writing and thinking through an analysis of the Almanacs.
Furthermore, a study of the two Almanacs, about which very little has been written, reconsiders their importance and place in Jarrys oeuvre and thus contributes to existing and ongoing research on Jarry. It will show the significance of the Almanacs for understanding Jarrys work and ideas. The title of this book, Ubusing Culture, is above all a reference to Jarrys own love for wordplay, but it also relates to the argument I make.
I will show that in the Almanacs Jarry made use of genres, forms, discourses and themes from a variety of cultural spheres. By combining these elements with his self-created Ubu universe Jarry, in the Almanacs, puts forward new concepts of genre, textual structure, language and authorship, as well as an off-beat, subversive perspective on contemporary society.
Furthermore, because the Almanacs are representative of several crucial developments in art and literature around and later in the century, a discussion of these two works thus gains a broader cultural-historical significance. In short, by discussing the Almanacs, I intend to offer more insight in Jarrys work and a better understanding of the place he and his work occupy in cultural history.
Considering these aims, I combine a textual analysis of the two Almanacs with a cultural historical perspective. The Almanacs are embedded in their time and without knowledge of their context, important keys to understanding Jarrys texts are lost. Furthermore, since I argue that Jarrys poetics in the Almanacs are representative of certain paradigmatic changes in art around , linking the analysis to historical developments is vital.
The two Almanacs make up the primary corpus for the textual analysis but whenever I make general statements about Jarrys work and poetics I will refer to examples from his other writings as well. The theoretical and methodological choices are entirely pragmatic, depending on the questions under scrutiny in the analysis.
Whenever a theoretical concept is introduced I will define and address it there and then in the chapter, such as for example the question of authorship in chapter three or collage in chapter four. I employ a range of methodological tools, drawing for example from textual analysis, semiotics or discourse analysis. While this might be understood as anything goes an interpretation of Jarrys heterogeneous and collagist work is in my opinion best served by an equally collagist methodological approach.
The book is divided into two parts. The first three chapters mainly deal with the contexts and cultural spheres that influenced Jarry and in particular the Almanacs. They contain the necessary cultural historical background information for understanding Jarrys poetics and his texts. In the other chapters I focus on an analysis of the texts in the Almanacs, moving from a discussion of their textual structure and form to a discussion of the narrative strategies and main themes.
Chapter one is an introductory chapter on Jarrys life and work and a preliminary introduction to some important features in his poetics; the polysemic and heterogeneous text, genre crossing, the revaluation of contemporary Symbolist concepts of authorship and beauty. I also briefly introduce Ubu and pataphysics.
This introduction will help situate the Almanacs in Jarrys oeuvre at a time when, as I argue, he had moved away from the Symbolist aesthetics of his earlier works. In chapter two I outline two other important contexts that helped shape the two Almanacs, namely Montmartres cabaret counter-culture and the popular tradition of the almanac genre. Cabaret culture appeared to have inspired Jarry to incorporate popular and non-literary genres in his work, and to choose the almanac genre. The characteristics of these contexts e. Chapter three is a historical reconstruction of how the Almanacs were created as a collective work.
In this chapter I show which artists, and through them which cultural spheres influenced Jarry and the Almanacs. I also discuss how this collaborative creation defied contemporary concepts of singular authorship and originality. I argue that, in the Almanacs, Jarry puts forward a concept of collective authorship and a new concept of originality. In chapter four I analyze the textual structure of the Almanacs and argue that Jarry makes use of a collage aesthetic avant la lettre in the texts.
Apart In chapter five I discuss how Jarry, in the Almanacs, engages with news and newspapers, within the context of the close bonds between writers and journalism in this period. Through examples from the Almanacs as well as from Jarrys own speculative journalism, I show how the boundaries between literature and journalism became blurred. Jarrys texts appear to linger between fiction and non-fiction and this affects both the aesthetics of the literary work as well as the representation of events. In the Almanacs this also results in a satirical reflection on the media, on writers ties to journalism and on contemporary society.
The collage practice, the incorporation of non-literary, popular forms and journalistic texts in the literary work leads to a more general issue as well. In chapter six I therefore reflect on the new bonds that surfaced between art and mass culture around this time, and how the Almanacs are exemplary of those new, often ambiguous bonds involving an embrace of the aesthetics, but a rejection of the uniformity of mass culture which would also become characteristic of the later avant-garde movements.
In the last chapter, chapter seven, I focus on the way Jarry reflects on contemporary current events in the Almanacs, in particular the Dreyfus Affair in the first Almanac and colonial politics in the second. I will show that in the Almanacs and through Ubu, Jarry provides an original but complex, paradoxical and critical perspective on contemporary society. I argue that Jarry was a more committed writer than has previously been acknowledged, but that this commitment to contemporary issues was played out mainly in his text through his evasive, ironic style.
On a practical note: quotations from Jarrys texts are all provided in the original French and taken predominantly from the three volume Pliade edition of Jarrys complete works , and These are referred to in the footnotes as OC uvres Compltes followed by the volume and page numbers. Whenever references are made to manuscripts or other editions such as the original editions of the Almanacs this is indicated in the footnotes. The appendix contains the long list with names of contemporary cultural figures from the first Almanac, but is too long to include in the text.
I have completed this list of contemporary cultural figures with a short biography of each person. Symbolism and Beyond. Introduction One of the arguments I make in this book is that the Almanacs were written at a time when Jarry had moved away from the Symbolism of his earlier works. In this introductory chapter I will briefly outline Jarrys life and work in order to situate the Almanacs in the context of his career and oeuvre. In the first part I focus on Jarrys life and work to show how Jarry matured as a writer in the Symbolist circles of the late nineteenth century, while later becoming familiar with representatives of a new generation of avant-garde artists.
In the second part of this chapter I will introduce several key aspects of Jarrys poetics through a discussion of Linteau , a crucial early text in which Jarry comments on his work. I argue that Jarry already showed signs of ambivalence towards contemporary Symbolist aesthetics and a need to find new means of literary expression early on in his career. Jarry outlined aspects of his poetics in Linteau, but he really put these into practice in the Almanacs a few years later.
There was a constant dichotomy in Jarrys short-lived literary career. Jarry wanted to publish his work and gain success, but categorically refused to compromise on anything to do with his texts. His biography reveals an author who was well immersed in the fin de sicle cultural world, but whose increasingly difficult behaviour met with resistance and whose works were often barely understood by his literary contemporaries. Jarrys older sister, Charlotte, was born in After Jarrys parents separated due to the bankruptcy of Anselme Jarrys business, the family moved to Saint-Brieuc.
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Here, at the age of twelve, Jarry began writing stories, plays and poetry which he later collected under the title of Ontognie. By no means works of genius they did contain groundwork for texts he would write as an adult. As is well known, a decisive period in Jarrys life and career began in , when the family moved to the city of Rennes.
Nicknamed Pre Heb, Eb or b, he was the much plagued subject of mockery among his pupils. Jarry also became friends with classmate Henri Morin. Henris older brother In December the three schoolboys staged marionette performances of Les Polonais at the house of the Morin family and at Jarrys house. The character of Pre Ubu, modelled after the unfortunate physics professor, was born and so was the Ubu cycle.
Since Charles Morins original manuscript of Les Polonais is lost, the precise input of Charles Morin and Jarry to the final version of Ubu Roi still remains speculation. In this would cause controversy, when Charles Chass, relying on Henri and Charles Morins recollections, questioned Jarrys authorship and the plays originality. In chapter three, I will address the issue of authorship and Jarrys interpretation of this concept further.
The next important phase in Jarrys life began when he moved to Paris. In Jarry became a pupil at the Lyce Henri-IV in Paris, a prestigious preparatory school, renowned for its humanities education and a breeding ground for writers, philosophers and politicians. On April 28, Jarrys short text Guignol won a prize for best prose and was published in lcho de Paris littraire illustr. Unfortunately, the start of Jarrys literary career at the age of twenty had tragically coincided with the loss of his mother on the 10th of April of that same year.
Jarrys debut and new acquaintances guaranteed his entrance into the contemporary literary avant-garde movement of Symbolism. Symbolism, inspired by Romantic aesthetics and by Baudelaire, had evolved out of the writers who had labelled themselves as Decadents in the early s. On the 18th of September the rather unknown poet Jean Moras had published his manifeste du symbolisme in Le Figaro, explaining some of the movements aims. Symbolism aspired towards a subjective, individualistic, idealistic, sometimes mystical poetic expression, counter-acting bourgeois rational culture in general, and the more dominant literary movements of realism and naturalism.
All three magazines would play important roles in Jarrys career, but Jarry became particularly involved with the writers of magazine Le Mercure de France. Many of Jarrys letters from this period are addressed to the people who mattered in literary Symbolist circles. Prier was transformed into the character Achras who appears in several Ubu texts. Les sources d'Ubu Roi Paris: H. Floury, Later re-edited in Dans les coulisses de la gloire. DUbu Roi au douanier Rousseau. Nouvelle Revue Critique, In April Jarry, still in possession of some family money, purchased four shares in the Mercure at one hundred francs each.
He literally bought himself a place in the magazine and apparently saw no problem in mixing his literary aspirations with phynance. Jarry, like many young writers of his generation, greatly admired Mallarm and visited his salon. In return Mallarm expressed his admiration for Jarrys work. He worked hard to get published and gain recognition from his Symbolist literary peers and his efforts paid off.
The prose poem Haldernablou, inspired by Jarrys relationship with Fargue, was published by the Mercure de Frances publishing house in July Furthermore Jarry collaborated with Remy de Gourmont to publish the magazine LYmagier, in which they showcased popular images alongside the work of contemporary artists.
Jarry, himself an artist, was quite familiar with the world of the visual arts.
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For example in Jarry travelled to Pont-Aven and Le Pouldu, where he stayed at the pension Gloanec, which had been home to Gauguin. Jarry wrote reviews of their paintings and asked them to contribute to lYmagier. Fortunately for him, he was soon discharged from the army on grounds of a chronic gallstones. Back in Paris Jarry resumed his activities. For a long while Jarry had wanted to get Ubu Roi published and have it staged by a proper theatre.
In June the play was finally published in its entirety by the Mercure de France. Having been in negotiations with the independent Thtre de luvre for a while, Jarry had also managed to convince its director Aurlien Lugn Poe to produce his play. On December 10th, Pre Ubu claimed the stage in what by now has become a legendary opening night. OC I, p. Tout simplement pour admirer Ubu Roi et vous presser la main Vous avez mis debout, avec une glaise rare et durable aux doigts, un personnage prodigieux et les siens, cela, mon cher ami, en sobre et sr sculpteur dramatique.
Il entre dans le rpertoire de haut got et me hante ; merci. Stphane Mallarm. He scribbled them in the guest book of the pension signed by Alfred Henry Jarry. The Formation of an Avant-garde. Lugn-Poe et les dbuts 4 5. With a mixture of provocation and irony he compared his play to Shakespeare.
The play had one backdrop showing seemingly random scenes, wooden cartons indicated scene changes, whereas the actors wore masks, speaking and acting mechanically. The grotesque Ubu, the opening word merdre and other obscenities, the utter disrespect for theatrical conventions, the lack of plot and real characters left the majority of the audience and critics baffled if not outraged.
Le Petit Parisien called the production a scatological piece of insanity, and the critic of Lvnement needed a shower after the premiere. Others, like Le Matins Henry Card, were simply amused. Former schoolmate Charles Morin wrote an indignant letter to Baur, claiming that he and his brother were the real authors of the play; a prelude to the later authorship controversy in the s. Not even the progressive Thtre de luvre seemed ready for this and Lugn-Poe cancelled the play.
Nevertheless its succs scandale turned both Jarry and his character Ubu into notorious figures. Jarry had gained notoriety, but not financial security. During Jarrys debts increased and his financial problems led to him being evicted from his apartment. The floors had been divided in half by the landlord and even Jarry, only 1. This peculiar apartment is mentioned in the first Almanac.
Jarry continued to work hard and published his semi-autobiographical novel Les Jours et les Nuits, about his time in military service, in In January Ubu Roi was performed again as a marionette play at the Thtre des Pantins, situated at the home of friend and composer Claude Terrasse. The novel LAmour en visites was published and an excerpt of another novel Jarry was working on, Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, de l'uvre. Paris: L'Arche, Mesure prventive indispensable quand on sort dun pareil spectacle.
Lvnement, 11 December , quoted in : Beaumont, Alfred Jarry. A Critical and Biographical Study, p. Le Divan, avril-mai-juin , pp. He was haunted by bills from the dealer from Laval. Instead of paying the bills, Jarry just bought more accessories. Furthermore, it was also in that Jarry wrote the first Almanach du Pre Ubu. In fact, both Almanacs were written at the time of an important turning point in Jarrys literary career. In Jarry had sent his texts to another notorious literary figure, Oscar Wilde.
Without commenting on his work, Wilde sarcastically wrote to a friend that Jarry was the rising light of the Quartier Latin adding that he looked like an attractive male prostitute. His efforts to gain success were not helped by the fact that he could be very demanding. Lugn-Poe called Jarrys demands for the staging of Ubu Roi tiresome and difficult. In January Alfred Vallette had warned Jarry not to write too difficult if he wanted to be published. Jai oubli de vous dire hier au sujet de mon in et ce matin je me suis lev beaucoup trop tard pour venir vous en informer, quil est bien entendu que mme sil parat invendable au Mercure, je ny change rien du tout dans lordre des chapitres ni en rien.
Alfred Vallette refused to publish LAmour absolu and told Jarry that he would stop publishing his novels altogether. Although he would remain close to Vallette and the Mercure crowd, Jarry found a more welcoming climate among people who would prove to be important for twentieth century avant-garde movements. La Revue Blanche and its publishing house took over publication of Jarrys work.
This was partly due to editor Flix Fnon, an admirer of Jarry. La Revue Blanche, rooted in Symbolism, but favourable to all new ideas, also employed Jarry, who had been free-lancing for the magazine since , as a Mercure de France May,, no. Alfred Jarry has sent me a complete collection of his works Jarry is now the rising light of the Quartier Latin. In person he is most attractive. He looks just like a very nice renter.
Souvenirs et impressions de thtre Paris: Gallimard, , pp. Many of these letters illustrate his often difficult negotiations with publishers and editors. This provided him with a much needed regular source of income over the next few years. La Revue Blanche also published the novels Messaline , set in ancient Rome, and Le Surmle , set in the nearby future of Around the same time the second Almanac was issued as well and Ubu Roi was performed as a marionette play at the cabaret Les Quatz Arts in Montmartre.
The changes in publishers and platforms also signalled a change in Jarrys writing. The Almanacs, as I argue in the following chapters, exemplify these changes. Leaving behind the Symbolism of the s, his work took on a new direction set in motion since Ubu Roi. In these years Jarry also became acquainted with a younger generation of avant-garde writers and artists, who would lay the foundations of the first 20th century avant-garde movements. Jarry befriended Guillaume Apollinaire. Marinetti, in this period. Poet Andr Salmon later recalled the literary banquets organized by La Plume, where the older Symbolist writers would mingle with young members of the future avant-garde.
Jarry presided one of these banquets, performing as Ubu and mockingly recited some of his early Symbolist poetry. Salmon writes how he witnessed: Alfred Jarry dirigeant la crmonie la manire du Pre Ubu, pas mcontent nanmoins de renifler un peu de lair du temps o il se voulait pote symboliste.. Jarry was certainly not alone in his mockery of Symbolism. Both Symbolists and Decadents had parodied their own peers and work.
Verlaine, uncomfortable with his mentor status, had despised the term Symbolism altogether. Michel Dcaudin, La crise des valeurs symbolistes. Vingt ans de posie franaise Toulouse: Privat, , pp. Fernande Olivier, Loving Picassso. Jarry knew Cremnitz from his days at lArt Littraire in The fact that Decadents parodied their own work confused the established press, who already considered the Decadents as fumistes. Genova, Symbolist Journals.
Genova clearly shows the debates, paradoxes and eclecticism of the Symbolist movement. He hated that expression; it was too vague, too mystifying for him. What does that mean exactly Symbolism, Symbolism? Nothing, absolutely nothing! I am a Decadent, at least that word has a clear meaningI am a Decadent! Representatives of both old and new generations often met and gathered in the same places, exchanging ideas, influencing each other. The turn of the century had marked new acquaintances and opportunities, but in the next few years Jarry, both professionally and personally, struggled more and more.
La Revue Blanche ceased to exist in and the little financial stability Jarry had enjoyed now disappeared completely. His behaviour evolved from eccentric to destructive. After a dinner in the spring of , Jarry fired his revolver twice on the unsuspecting young sculptor Manolo. The other guests, among whom Apollinaire took Jarrys gun and dragged him away, while Jarry shouted: But wasnt that great literature? It has become a well-known, colourful anecdote, but it signalled Jarrys increasingly erratic behaviour, caused predominantly by his drinking habit.
At the end of he fell seriously ill with influenza. Financial crises and health problems dominated the last two years of Jarrys life. His health deteriorated quickly, due to a combination of alcoholism, bad nourishment and poor living conditions. Influential friends, like publishers Eugne Fasquelle and Edward Sansot, still tried to come to Jarrys aid. In Sansot published Par la taille, an operetta Jarry had written , as well as Ubu sur la Butte. Long-time friends Vallette and Fnon called upon people to pre-subscribe to Le Moutardier du Pape, a musical comedy, but without success.
In Jarry, seriously ill, returned to Laval. He made up his will and dictated plans for his last novel, La Dragonne, to his sister. At the end of the year he managed to return to Paris, although still in poor health. Jarrys deplorable state at the beginning of is painfully illustrated by Paul Lautaud in his journal: Hier mardi, au Mercure, j'ai vu Jarry qui s'en va une seconde fois se retirer dans sa province, chez sa sur, Laval. J'ai parl de lui avec Vallette.
Fini, bien fini,. Van ongebondenheid en heilige banden. Herinneringen van een schilder-monnik 's Hertogenbosch: Teulings Uitgevers Maatschappij, , p. Verlaine to Jules Huret in Vingt ans de posie franaise. The origins of the avant-garde in France to World War I. New York: Random House, Malade, dtraqu par les privations, l'alcoolisme et la masturbation, incapable de gagner sa vie en aucune faon, ni avec un emploi, ni par une collaboration quelconque un journal.
On l'avait fait entrer il y a deux ou trois ans au Figaro. Il ne faisait rien, ou ce qu'il faisait tait illisible. Couvert de dettes et dj un peu fou, il y a un an on avait organis au Mercure la publication, tirage restreint et trs cher, d'un mince ouvrage de lui. Il a tout mang boire, courir les cafs, si bien qu'aujourd'hui, fourbu et fichu, il se rsigne repartir chez sa sur. Il est fichu. Pas mme capable de faire une course. Lautauds portrayal of Jarry, of a drunk and debauched figure who writes unreadable works, was characteristic of how many people, including life-long friends, viewed him towards the end of his life.
Jarry was rushed to the Hopital de la Charit, but died on the first of November , aged The official cause of death was meningitis. On the third of November Jarry was buried after a short service at SaintSulpice. Jarry matured as a writer in Symbolist circles and possessed a sincere admiration for many Symbolist artists and writers.
In Linteau, written at the beginning of his career, Jarry outlined some of his poetic ideas and expressed an ironic ambiguity towards Symbolism. Several crucial aspects of Jarrys poetics that become very evident in Ubus Almanacs were already announced in this text. The text Linteau is the prologue to Les Minutes de sable mmorial, an eclectic collection of prose, essay and poetry. It was Jarrys first book and some of its texts had already been published elsewhere, such as the prizewinning Guignol in Lcho de Paris. In Linteau, Jarry explains to his readers how to read the texts.
Les Minutes is representative of Jarrys work at a time when it was still in the midst of Symbolism and in it one can spot the influences of for example Remy de Gourmont or Mallarm. The style and tone of Jarrys texts are reminiscent of those of his Symbolist Referring to the luxury edition of Le Moutardier du Pape which appeared in Wednesday, January 23, , Paul Lautaud, Journal littraire, vol. I Paris: Mercure de France, , pp.
After Jarrys death Lautaud cynically wrote: maintenant quil est mort on lui trouve du gnie, p. Besnier, Alfred Jarry. An exploration of Alfred Jarry's livres pairs. In his discussion of Faustrolls library Fisher clearly shows how Jarrys literary tastes were rooted in Symbolism. In fact Linteau could be read as a Symbolist manifesto. The word linteau, or lintel in English, literally signifies a supporting beam, a piece of wood or brick placed horizontally above the opening of a door or window.
The title thus suggests a sort of literary-theoretical supporting beam for the texts that follow; a guide for how to read the work, which at first seems to mystify more than it clarifies. Nevertheless, this address to the readers does, however ironically and ambiguously, convey four key features of Jarrys poetics, which are put forward more explicitly in the Almanacs: 1.
Semiotic polyvalence of language, 2. Genre-crossing and heterogeneity, 3. The ambiguous relationship of the author to his readers and 4. Leaving in what is weak and bad. Jarry writes that the literary text should: suggrer au lieu de dire, faire dans la route des phrases un carrefour de tous les mots. The high-strung tone and content of this phrase are obviously inspired by Mallarm. Three years before Jarrys text, in Jules Hurets Enqute sur lvolution littraire , a collection of interviews with contemporary writers, Mallarm made his famous declaration that: Nommer un objet, cest supprimer les trois quarts de la jouissance du pome qui est faite du bonheur de deviner peu peu, mais le suggrer, voil le rve.
A word should evoke a multitude of meanings instead of unambiguously referring to one object; a poem should be suggestive and ambiguous. Jarry pays his debt to Mallarms conception of poetry in Linteau, as he proceeds to refer to words as polydres dides. Dorra, who remarks the texts debt to Mallarm, fails, in my opinion, to underline some of the nuances and irony in Jarrys Symbolist manifesto.
Paris, , p. See for example Michel Arrivs psycholinguistic analyses of Jarrys semiotic obsession. In his Symbolist manifesto Jean Moras stated that idealism was central in Symbolism. This meant that a concrete, visible form symbol in the work of art should transmit an abstract idea. Symbolist art for arts sake poetics meant that the work of art did not have to provide an interpretation of or a comment upon the everyday world.
A word or a symbol could stand on its own, referring to an inner, symbolic rather than an external reality. It stemmed from Baudelaires concept of synthesis: taking sensorial experiences from the real world or from other art forms to produce a separate, different, and certainly self-sufficient reality, a universe of personal associations. Jarry expresses a similar tendency towards polyvalence and ambiguity in Linteau and he appears to adhere to a Symbolist ideal of creating a polysemic, associative and autonomous linguistic universe.
For Jarry, the ideal of semiotic polyvalence was also closely tied to another important concept, that of simultaneity. In a speech he delivered at the Salon des Indpendants in , entitled Le temps dans lart, Jarry said that the visual arts had one big advantage over literatures inherent linearity; its capacity to show different objects simultaneously: Cest que la littrature est oblige de les faire dfiler successivement et un un les objets quelle dcrit  Au contraire dans un tableau, le spectateur embrasse dun coup dil un assez grand nombre dobjets, simultans, quil a plu au peintre den rassembler.
Ainsi donc le tableau ou la statue saisit et fixe un moment de la dure. In Jarrys view, the work of art could do without the notion of time. A Culture of Correspondence, pp. Aurier, Le symbolisme en peinture, in: Mercure de France, 59, , pp. A Critical Anthology, pp. The representation could then convey simultaneous places, times and meanings and become timeless, less referential.
His visual concept of language implied that linear narrative and univocal realistic representation in literature should, ideally, be replaced by non-linear simultaneity and ambiguous polyvalence. In Ubus Almanacs these ideas partially account for the collage aesthetic, which I discuss in chapter four.
Besides simultaneity, semiotic polyvalence also enabled incongruous associations. In many of his texts, including the Almanacs, this takes on the form of wordplay and humorist puns. Jarry would emphasize the importance of wordplay and humour in general in his article Ceux pour qui il ny eut point de Babel 15 May , published in La Plume.
Humour, Jarry writes, is not just, as his teacher Henri Bergson said, defined by the feeling of surprise; it is the revelation of the truth through humour that surprises the most. Quand il crit : Escargot, Escarguerite , il le dduit logiquement de Margot, Marguerite. Si daucuns contestent que Marguerite soit le fminin de Margot et ny reconnaissent que le diminutif? Nous crivons dans la prface de notre premier livre Les Minutes, , que si lauteur a su dterminer deux points en corrlation absolue encoche, point de mire , tous les autres, sans nouvel effort de sa part, seront sur la trajectoire.
Aussi admirons-nous, comme on admire un but prvu et atteint, que M. On retrouve la vrit tous les dtours. Et puis potes srieux , avez-vous jamais imagin, et de mieux rythm, que ce rythme dun humoriste qui se dit modestement amorphe. Despite Jarrys ironic tone, he implicitly shares some of his ideas with his readers.
Jarry refers back to the seminal text of Les Minutes, copying a phrase from that text si lauteur a su determiner.. Defending Franc-Nohains humorist poetry and indirectly his own poetics Jarry states that through such humorous wordplay and association one would find the truth at every detour On retrouve la verit tous les detours ; or at least a more truthful OC I, p.
Le rire nest pas, croyons-nous, seulement ce que la dfini notre excellent professeur de philosophie au lyce Henri IV, M. Bergson : le sentiment de la surprise. Nous estimons quil faudrait ajouter : limpression de la vrit rvle qui surprend, comme toute dcouverte inopine. OC II, p. See OC II, p. Franc-Nohain is mentioned in the first Almanacs list of names, see the Appendix. In the preface to his collection of poetry Fltes La Revue Blanche, , FrancNohain referred to himself as pote amorphe. Later, in his unfinished novel La Dragonne Jarry would again underline that word games were not a game les jeux de mots ne sont pas un jeu.
However, I argue that in the Almanacs Jarrys ideal of semiotic polyvalence, resulting from humorist wordplay often provides a complex, but painfully accurate account of reality and current events. The texts in the Almanac partially appear to counteract the non-referential text sought after by Jarrys Symbolist contemporaries. Generic hybridity is the second important feature of Jarrys poetics addressed in Linteau. In Linteau the ideal literary work is described by Jarry as an oeuvre unique faite de toutes les oeuvres possibles. Like Les Minutes, many of Jarrys works defy and transgress genre boundaries.
Csar Antchrist for example combines a play a first version of scenes from Ubu Roi , Symbolist hermetic prose and medieval images. The plays from the Ubu-cycle are cross-overs between various performance genres mixing elements from classical tragedy, marionette theatre, musical theatre, farce and cabaret. The novel Messaline poses simultaneously as a historical novel and an erotic roman scandale, while Le Surmle contains elements from gothic and decadent novels, science-fiction, sports reportage and scientific treaties.
In Gestes et Opinions du docteur Faustroll, roman no-scientifique the reader is confronted with a variety of discursive genres, such as encyclopaedic texts, letters, scientific treaties, poetry, pastiches, lists, travel accounts, philosophical texts. The result is an eclectic, heterogeneous assemblage of texts, which bears little resemblance to any contemporary novel. This feature of Jarrys poetics might also have sparked his interest in the almanac genre, a traditionally heterogeneous genre.
In Linteau a variety of contemporary author positions are negotiated and questioned. Jarry starts off by giving out a warning to his audience, stating that most people will probably not notice that the following is very beautiful. Symbolists appeared to unite not only in a common search for new forms of expression but also in fighting mutual enemies. Jarrys defensive tone might also be read in this light. Tous les sens quy trouvera le lecteur sont prvus, et jamais il ne les trouvera tous ; et lauteur lui en peut indiquer, colin-maillard crbral, dinattendus, postrieurs et contradictoires.
Mais 2me Cas. Lecteur infiniment suprieur par lintelligence celui qui crivit. Nayant point crit luvre, il ne la nanmoins pntre point, reste parallle, sinon gal, au lecteur du 1er Cas. Cet t cf. Et ceci nest quaccessoire de cette rciproque : quand mme il net point su toutes choses y affrentes en crivant luvre, il lui suffit de deux jalons placs encoche, point de mire par lintuition, si lon veut un mot pour TOUT dcrire dirait le tire-ligne au compas et dcouvrir. Et Descartes est bien petit dambition, qui na voulu qudifier sur un Album un systme Rien de Stuart Mill, mthode des rsidus.
The general conclusion is that the reader will never fully comprehend the authors work, at least not in the way the author does. However one gets the impression that this exaggerated emphasis on the readers incapability to grasp the text and on the works deliberate hermetic inaccessibility is also a spoof of Symbolist discourse itself. The quasi-scientific references and the heavy-handed tone capitalising tout for example mimic Symbolist texts, but in such an overstated manner that it also debunks its own seriousness.
Furthermore this dialogue with the reader reveals several ambiguous positions when it comes to contemporary Symbolist conceptions of the author. First of all Jarry refers to the still prevalent idea in the wake of the Romantic period of the author as a genius, the divinely inspired poet. Under point III he claims that the author was writing the work at a unique moment Conservative theatre critic Jules Lematre, Parnassian poet Leconte de Lisle, as well as realist writer Zola for example all considered the Symbolists as fumistes.
In a letter from this period to douard Julia, Jarry describes a similar writing process, talking about Csar-Antechrist: Et le premier acte slabore dans ma cervelle.
Jattends par paresse ou habitude quil soit fait tout seul. Je nai encore vu que les personnages du 1er acte. Je sais quils seront tous doubles et que tout y sera par blason. Here, Jarry makes it sound as if the text simply develops in his brain without him having any control and he can just lazily wait until it is finished. Je nai encore vu implies an image of the visionary poet who receives inspiration for his text from a mysterious outward source, albeit in a somewhat demystifying style.
However, under point I Jarry also writes that all meanings will have been foreseen by the author and that he can randomly point out contradictory meanings to the reader if he pleases. Whereas the words themselves generate a certain meaning, it is the author who, at one point, saw their true meaning. This complies with the image of a visionary poet foreseen. Although he is hardly aware of where his imagination comes from, he has nevertheless, for that very reason, a privileged position over the reader who never shared his vision. In this text Jarry reveals a highly self-aware author, who might not always be aware where his words come from, but who is at the same time in control of his writing, and at least superior to the reader.
Some years later Jarry would describe Sengles writing method in his auto-biographical novel Les Jours et les Nuits as follows: Sengle construisait ses littratures, curieusement et prcisment quilibres, par des sommeils dune quinzaine de bonnes heures, aprs manger et boire ; et jaculait en une criture de quelque mchante demi-heure le rsultat. Lequel on pouvait anatomiser et atomiser indfiniment, chaque molcule tant cristallise selon le systme de la masse, avec des hirarchies vitalisantes, comme les cellules dun corps. Des professeurs de philosophie chantent que cette similitude aux productions naturelles est du Chef duvre.
On one hand the text points to a similar involuntary, subconscious process of creation, during sleep. The high-strung tone and heavy-handed emphasis on Chef doeuvre, comparing writing to natural creation also suggests, like Linteau and Jarrys letter to Julia, a certain irony or at least a selfawareness regarding the mysterious process of creation and how it had often been described since Romanticism. On the other hand this fragment also implies a more conscious construction of texts construisait ses littratures , with exact precision prcisement quilibres. The use of scientific discourse anatomisait, atomiser, molcule, systme, cellules emphasizes this idea of a methodological, scientific conception of literary composition.
A similar use of a scholarly style and scientific discourse also characterized Linteau, in particular the four points addressing the author. This discourse, emphasizing Jarrys statements on literatures constructed nature, clashes of course with certain romantic ideas of poetic creation. So what sort of author figure is the reader dealing with here?
Jarrys previously discussed ideal of suggestive language, of words as polydres, mirrored the poetic ideals of Mallarm and many Symbolist poets. In Mallarms poetics this central focus on language involved suppressing the author in the interests of writing. The structure of a book of verse must arise throughout from internal necessity in this way both chance and the author will be excluded. While Jarrys previous emphasis on the power of language itself as a catalyst for meaning closely follows Mallarms disappearance of the poet-speaker, he also focuses very much on the author when it comes to creating meaning all meanings will have been foreseen.
Another contemporary, Paul Valry, would, somewhat later, argue in favour of a disinterested genius, placing meaning of the text in the hands of the reader. However, Jarry does not completely adhere to contemporary text-centred or reader-centred views of authorship. For Jarry meaning lies not, as in Mallarms case, solely in the text itself, and also not, as Valry saw it, in the hands of the reader. The author is superior, as Jarry defiantly states. Even if the author no longer remembers why he chose a certain word or phrase, they were his original creative choice.
Therefore, although he previously praised languages inherent polysemy, Jarry leaves little room for the reader to freely interpret his text. He appears to favour a more author-centred concept of the literary text. Such apparently contradictory statements are hardly uncommon in Jarrys work. In the speech he gave before the premiere of Ubu Roi, he first stated that it was superfluous and ridiculous for an author to talk about his own work only to continue lecturing about the meaning of his play. As I will argue, a similar ironic and complex use of author figure s is visible in the Almanacs. This is the fourth and last feature, which furthers Jarrys ideal of polyvalence and heterogeneity.
Jarry apologizes to his readers who could see his work as sloppy and mediocre. In Les Minutes, readers will find des ides entrebilles, non brodes de leurs usuelles accompagnatrices, et stonneront du manque de maintes citations. From Plato to the Postmodern. A reader Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, , p. Jarrys defence of his choices sounds apologetic, but, like the opening statement of Linteau, it reads more as an ironic comment on how most contemporary readers and critics would understand his text, or misunderstand it.
Jarrys so-called weak and bad elements are nevertheless conscious decisions made by the author. This is closely connected to Jarrys ideal of generic and material heterogeneity. He preferred to incorporate elements from all cultural levels and disciplines, whether literary or non-literary. Jarry also addressed this.
Impressed by the performances he wondered why, outside of the circus, the human mind received so much more attention than physical activities: Cest une trange partialit que de consacrer dans les journaux et revues un grand nombre de pages, voire toutes les pages, enregistrer, critiquer ou glorifier les manifestations de lesprit humain : cela quivaut ne tenir compte que de lactivit dun organe arbitrairement choisi entre tous les organes, le cerveau.
Il ny a pas de raison pour ne point tudier aussi copieusement le fonctionnement de lestomac ou du pancras, par exemple, ou les gestes de nimporte quel membre. Jarrys observation concerning the circus is then extended to a more general idea: Sous le titre Gestes on trouvera dsormais dans cette Revue, par nos soins, des commentaires sur toute espce de spectacles plastiques. Ceux-ci sont si varis quil serait long den limiter le programme. Bon nombre ont t numrs, mieux que nous ne saurions, ici mme par M.
Thade Natanson au sujet de Toulouse-Lautrec : Perfection des muscles, des nerfs, de lentranement, de ladresse, dun mtier, dune technique : les luttes main plate, les courses de chevaux, les vlodromes, le patinage, la conduite des voitures, la toilette fminine, lopration conduite par un grand chirurgien,une taverne, un bal public,un ivrogne connaisseur en boisson, un explorateur qui a mang de lhomme,un produit dune chatte et dun cureuil, un voilier vous emportant sous le vent,une rixe entre buveurs, lenterrement du pape. Un guerrier, un brigand, un assassin.
La haine fouette les murs de Mortagne depuis toujours. De plus, les visites de leurs potes zonards se font de plus en plus rares. Ils ne disparaissent pas en mourant. Encore faut-il en payer le prix. En voici dix exemples. La provocation fait scandale. Un peu plus loin, trois jeunes paysans tentent le pari du bio. Son commanditaire, la police, le FBI Une femme arrive dans un appartement, lieu de rendez-vous avec son amant, mais celui-ci ne la rejoint pas.
Son nom : Emmanuelle. Elle est maso. Elle est sado. Comment draguer en concert? Il se doit de trouver le coupable. Pourquoi les nains sont-ils petits? Pourquoi les princesses sont-elles toujours belles? Par les auteurs de Sillage. Cet album contient onze de ces histoires.
Cahiers Octave Mirbeau, n° 18
Jacques Chiraquix. Sa vraie vie, elle commence en Vous le reconnaissez?! Gloria est une femme comme les autres… toujours au bord de la crise de nerfs! Elles sont jeunes. Elles sont sexy. Ras-le-bol des motards… STOP! Vous faites fausse route! Approchez, approchez, mesdames et messieurs! Chaque planche est un gag et une occasion de muscler ses zygomatiques. Pour tous. Vous avez toujours voulu retrouver vos anciens copains de classe? Pour Corrine, Louis, Martin et les autres, la vie est un jeu.
Entre cynisme et tendresse, un portrait intime sur toute la gamme. Des histoires muettes en une page. Un extraterrestre se pose en catastrophe sur la Terre en plein milieu du Jurassique. Choisissez le bon! Il vit seul dans un grand appartement. Mieux vaudrait pas. Frantico revient pour une nouvelle apparition en blog. David B.
Et pourtant, Louis aurait bien besoin d'aide car, seul, il doit affronter des situations peu confortables. Lisa Mandel se confie presque quotidiennement sur son blog. All rights reserved. First published by Tokuma Shoten Co. Ils prennent donc la route pour Plouhinec-les-deux-corbeaux, un nom qui ne s'invente pas. Paris, 18 novembre Les Prussiennes attaquent la capitale. Ils ne reculent devant rien…. Ronchon cohabite avec Grognon.
Ronchon, lui, est responsable des ventes dans une grande entreprise et fait le DJ pendant ses heures libres. Mais ils ne sont pas les seuls sur la piste. Il consigne tous ces moments dans La Belle vie. Goldman en BD! Zep signe la couverture. Normandie, Dix habitants fuient vers le Havre via Dieppe. Port de Hull, Un mal terrible semble ronger le nouveau passager. Mais la redoutable Baccarat veille…. Petite Louve est une jeune fille sioux, en passe de devenir une femme. Il grandit ainsi de bras en bras et de ville en ville.
Comment chasse le renard? Que mange le hibou grand duc? Deuzio devait au moins sortir de son bateau. Pierre et Jeanne aiment dessiner des monstres. Adalbert Ier, roi de Porto Cristo, est un enfant… Comme tous les enfants, il fait des caprices. Pas facile pour des enfants de trouver des occupations intelligentes et distrayantes quand on habite en ville. S'il a dormi un jour, il ne s'en souvient plus.
Aristide lutte, tout seul, contre un sommeil fatal. Il surveille les monstres, repousse leurs assauts. Ce dernier lui demande un service, celui de prendre soin de ses jeunes pousses. Lilou est une petite fille qui se sent seule. Anita est une vieille dame qui se sent seule. Et pas en colonie… pire!
Courageusement, elle retourne sur les lieux…. Ho hisse! Tous en selle! Ils sont cinq. Mais Harry et ses amis, Pron et Hormone, veillent…. Au voleur! Devenu un jeune homme, il rejoint les siens, les humains, qui souffrent car ils ne croient en rien. Frank Baum ]. New York, de nos jours. Le FBI tient une suspecte en la personne de la ravissante Arlana. Mais combien de temps pourra-t-il tenir? Hellboy et les membres du B. Fin XIXe. Le Docteur Henry Jones Jr. R Tolkien. Commence alors pour Bilbo la plus grande aventure de sa jeune existence.
Tolkien ]. Luke Skywalker en est le premier Chevalier Jedi. Les Sith ont refait surface.