12 Facts About Alfred Jarry


Alfred Jarry coined the term and philosophical concept of 'pataphysics.

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Alfred Jarry wrote in a variety of hybrid genres and styles, prefiguring the postmodern, including novels, poems, short plays and operas bouffes, absurdist essays and speculative journalism.

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Alfred Jarry's texts are considered examples of absurdist literature and postmodern philosophy.

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Alfred Jarry's father Anselme Jarry was a salesman who descended into alcoholism; his mother Caroline, nee Quernest, was interested in music and literature, but her family had a streak of insanity, and her mother and brother were institutionalized.

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At 17 Alfred Jarry passed his baccalaureat and moved to Paris to prepare for admission to the Ecole Normale Superieure.

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Alfred Jarry had meantime discovered the pleasures of alcohol, which he called "my sacred herb" or, when referring to absinthe, the "green goddess".

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Alfred Jarry returned to Paris and applied himself to writing, drinking and the company of friends who appreciated his witty, sweet-tempered and unpredictable conversation.

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Alfred Jarry moved into a flat which the landlord had created through the unusual expedient of subdividing a larger flat by means of a horizontal rather than a vertical partition.

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Alfred Jarry later bought many of his manuscripts as well as executing a fine drawing of him.

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Alfred Jarry died in Paris on 1 November 1907 of tuberculosis, aggravated by drug and alcohol misuse.

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Alfred Jarry was interred in the Cimetiere de Bagneux, near Paris.

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Complete works of Alfred Jarry are published in three volumes by Gallimard in the collection Bibliotheque de la Pleiade.

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