Alfred Jarry

Ben Fisher (Bangor University)
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Alfred Jarry is famous above all for the monstrous character of Père Ubu, and the play

Ubu Roi


King Ubu

], whose controversial staging in Paris in 1896 is a widely recognised landmark in theatrical history. Jarry is also well known for the invention of the pseudo-science of Pataphysics, through which he spawned a branch of alternative philosophy and artistic appreciation. His work is extensive for such a short career, and is highly varied in character and accessibility. His self-destructive lifestyle and recklessness with firearms mark him out as one of the most memorable bohemian figures of the Parisian

Belle Epoque

, but also mask an erudite if maverick intellect. He would serve as a point of reference and inspiration for the avant-garde generations who survived or came after him.


2471 words

Citation: Fisher, Ben. "Alfred Jarry". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 June 2008 [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

5785 Alfred Jarry 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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