By Jill Fell
Alfred Jarry’s (1873–1907) production of the monster-tyrant Ubu in his play Ubu Roi used to be a watershed in theater heritage and taken him speedy notoriety following its Paris greatest in 1896. during this concise, severe biography, Jill Fell explores this and the numerous achievements that this multi-talented and influential author and playwright filled into his brief life.
Drawing on a variety of anecdotes and the early guides of the Collège de ’Pataphysique, Fell strains Jarry’s progress and effect, as he speedily verified his literary acceptance as a prose author, journalist, artwork critic, and playwright. alongside the best way, Fell explores his interplay with a large forged of avant-garde characters, together with Gauguin, Rachilde, Wilde, Beardsley, and Apollinaire. The quarrels that punctuated Jarry’s life—and the extravagance and the ingesting that tired his meager wealth—form the historical past to this portrait of an obsessive author, dedicated to his craft and undeterred by way of his worsening household circumstances.
In this wonderful biography, Jarry’s spirit and his innovations sincerely become an notion to the good figures of experimental twentieth-century theatre, artwork, and literature. Alfred Jarry will tell and enjoyment readers who desire to research extra approximately this attention-grabbing, unconventional figure.
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Additional info for Alfred Jarry
He booked into the Pension Gloanec where Gauguin was bedridden with a badly broken leg. This had resulted from a fracas with fishermen at Concarneau, where Gauguin had invited his artist friends for an outing on 25 May. His conspicuous Tamil mistress, known as Annah, La Javanaise, had attracted a group of small boys, who were taunting her and throwing stones at the group. The artist Armand Seguin, who was walking with them, had grabbed one of the boys by the ear. 2 While going to his friend’s defence, Gauguin had fallen into a hole and broken his tibia so badly it protruded through the skin.
Jarry dedicated Ubu Roi to Schwob. His visits and his readings from Ubu Roi did much to cheer the writer, suffering as he was with a form of syphilis that finally killed him in 1905. 20 Schwob shared his literary enthusiasms with Jarry, who in turn relished hearing his friend read in English, whether from Richard Burton’s translation of The Thousand and One Nights,21 or the adventure stories of his friend Robert Louis Stevenson. Ill though he was, he undertook the long sea voyage to visit Stevenson in Samoa, arriving only after the writer’s death.
His poem, Ia Orana Maria (Hail Mary) describes the winged angel of Gauguin’s picture as ‘a pallid bat from hell’, reflecting the artist’s negative attitude towards Christian teaching and the Catholic church. Gauguin’s Tahitian Mary is attended by two native girls, whom Jarry calls the real angels in the composition. Clad only in loincloths, the girls represent a state of prelapsarian innocence, in contrast to the clothed Angel of the Annunciation, representing the Catholic priesthood, who is hiding furtively behind a bush.
Alfred Jarry by Jill Fell