Monday, 27 October 2008

Alfred Jarry……………

was a very eccentric man,
He liked to drink, take drugs, and write plays, essays, poetry and speculative journalism.

He had a gift for pranks and was a trouble marker at school.
He was left a small inheritance when he parents died which he quickly spent,
Around this time he also discovered the pleasure of alcohol- he called it his
‘my sacred herb’
And his favoured of all was the ‘green goddess’…..absinthe.
To express his love to the goddess he once painted his face green and rode around the town on his bike.
He had to join the army in 1894.
He did not respond to discipline very well.
He was a tiny man and the smallest army uniform was still to big- it ended with him being made exempt from marching drills…….. He was too much of a distraction in his huge uniform.
He was excused in the end for medical reason.
Jarry and others (Leon Deschamps, Remy de Gourmont) were the ones that introduced Marinett to the principles of ‘free verse’ while they were involved in the literary magazine La Plume.
He is best know for his play Ubu Roi, which is often cited as the forunner to the theatre of the absurd . Ubu Roi was a slapstick production modelled on an earlier play he had created as a 15-year-old schoolboy. It poked fun at his well meaning /obese /incompetent physics teacher.
He was sometimes grotesque and misunderstood.
The opening line to Ubu Roi , which was shown in 1896 at Lugne-poe’s theatre de L’oeuvre, was ‘medre’…………
Which translates to shitter/ shikt/ shitsky
Pandemonium broke out,
The response was mixed. Some hailed him a hero others reacted violently.
The theatre de L’oeuvre became famous after only two performances of Ubu Roi.
And so did 23-year-old Jarry.
As a result he became immersed in his own fiction.
Adopting ridiculous and pedantic figures of speech.
Referring to himself in the third person.
He called the wind ‘that which blows’. He called his bike which he rode everywhere ‘that which rolls’.
Moving in to a flat that was once one flat but had been horizontally divided into two.
He could stand……………….Guests had to bend over or crouch.
He took to carrying a loaded pistol.
And lived in worsening poverty, neglecting his heath, he drunk excessively.
Alfred Jarrys Ubu Roi still retained a special place in the history of performance scandal.
He was a sort of hero to the Parisian Dadaists.
Many young artist in Paris sort him out….including max jacob.
He died in Paris in Nov 1907, from tuberculosis.
Later Picasso acquired his pistol.
It was recorded that his last request was for a Toothpick.

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