Alfred Jarry

Alfred Jarry (älfrĕd´ zhärē´), 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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Banquet Years: The Arts in France, 1885-1918: Alfred Jarry, Henri Rousseau, Erik Satie, Guillaume Apollinaire
Roger Shattuck.
Harcourt Brace, 1958
The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski
Edward Braun.
Holmes & Meier, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Alfred Jarry"
The Pataphysician's Library: An Exploration of Alfred Jarry's Livres Pairs
Ben Fisher.
Liverpool University Press, 2000
The Reign of the Theatrical Director: French Theatre, 1887-1924
Bettina L. Knapp.
Whitston, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "A Scandal at the Theatre de L'Oeuvre: Alfred Jarry's King Ubu"
Staging the Savage God: The Grotesque in Performance
Ralf Remshardt.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Ubu Roi and the End of History" begins on p. 174
Twentieth-Century Theatre: A Sourcebook
Richard Drain.
Routledge, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Alfred Jarry: From Of the Uselessness to Theatre of the Theatre (1896)"
Dancing under Their Own Gaze: Mallarme, Jarry and Valery
Fell, Jill.
Journal of European Studies, Vol. 29, No. 2, June 1999
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
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Avant Garde Theatre, 1892-1992
Christopher Innes.
Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Symbolism and Alfred Jarry" begins on p. 19
20th Century French Drama
David I. Grossvogel.
Columbia University Press, 1961
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Les Enfants Terribles: Jarry, Apollinaire, Cocteau"
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