By Jill Fell
Alfred Jarry’s (1873–1907) construction of the monster-tyrant Ubu in his play Ubu Roi used to be a watershed in theater heritage and taken him fast notoriety following its Paris superior in 1896. during this concise, serious biography, Jill Fell explores this and the various achievements that this multi-talented and influential author and playwright stuffed into his brief life.
Drawing on various anecdotes and the early guides of the Collège de ’Pataphysique, Fell lines Jarry’s progress and impression, as he speedily verified his literary recognition as a prose author, journalist, paintings critic, and playwright. alongside the best way, Fell explores his interplay with a large solid 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 proposal to the nice figures of experimental twentieth-century theatre, paintings, and literature. Alfred Jarry will tell and pleasure readers who desire to study extra approximately this attention-grabbing, unconventional figure.
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Additional resources for Alfred Jarry
Did Jarry know him personally? So far, there is no written record of this, but their coeval, the young director of the Théâtre d’Art, Paul Fort, whose productions they supported, would have drawn them together. 26 Jarry’s childhood home, Saint-Brieuc, was well known to him from the long walks that he took to the northern coast in summer, painting as he went. Jarry’s admiration for the painter prompted him to write a chapter of homage to him in his novel Faustroll, designating the so-called Bois d’Amour in Pont-Aven as Bernard’s personal artistic territory.
60 4 Military Service: Fiction and Fact Jarry’s actual military service, of which there is little record apart from his novel, Les Jours et les Nuits, spanned the thirteen months between November 1894 and December 1895. 1 As late as 1947 a co-Lavallois called Gaston Roig, to whose section Jarry had been assigned, published his recollections from this period. 3 The harshness of military life that Jarry paints in his novel was therefore mitigated by the very material advantages that were available to him in Laval.
Its eventual fate is unknown, and the accounts of those who saw it in Jarry’s apartment some nine to eleven years later differ. Apollinaire claimed that only Jarry’s head remained and that he had burnt away the background. When André Salmon visited Jarry’s apartment in 1903 he reported that the mutilated background, consisting of some drapery with a hole in the middle, was still 57 hanging there. 29 It would seem that Jarry varied which part of the portrait he put on display. At the time of Salmon’s visit, Jarry had two china owls on his desk,30 but ten years earlier he had been keeping live ones.