Alfred Jarry


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Alfred Jarry (8 September 1873 – 1 November 1907) was a French writer born in Laval, Mayenne, France, not far from the border of Brittany; he was of Breton descent on his mother's side.

Best known for his play Ubu Roi (1896), which is often cited as a forerunner to the surrealist theatre of the 1920s and 1930s, Jarry wrote in a variety of genres and styles. He wrote plays, novels, ... more »

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  • ''Blind and unwavering indiscipline at all times constitutes the real strength of all free men.''
    Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), French playwright, author. Corporal, in Ubu Enchained, act 1, sc. 2.
  • ''You're looking exceptionally ugly tonight, Madam, is it because we have company?''
    Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), French playwright, author. Father Ubu, in Ubu Rex, act 1, sc. 2 (1896).
  • ''It is conventional to call "monster" any blending of dissonant elements.... I call "monster" every original inexhaustible beauty.''
    Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), French playwright, author. repr. In Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years, ch. 8 (1958). L'Ymagier (Paris, 1894).
  • The theater, bringing impersonal masks to life, is only for those who are virile enough to create new life: either as a conflict of passions subtler than those we already know, or as a complete new ch...
    Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), French playwright, author. repr. in Selected Works of Alfred Jarry, eds. Roger Shattuck and Simon Watson Taylor (1965). "Twe...
  • ''We believe ... that the applause of silence is the only kind that counts.''
    Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), French playwright, author. repr. in The Selected Works of Alfred Jarry, eds. Roger Shattuck and Simon Watson Taylor (1965). ...
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