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Alfred Jarry

Jarry, Alfred (älfrĕdˈ zhärēˈ) [key], 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 Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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