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Paradox and provocation were essential features of all of the work of Alfred Jarry (1873-1907). His non-conformist attitude, whether employed to subvert literary or artistic conventions or to scrutinize social and political issues, marked both his literary writing and his view of the world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the experimental and satirical Almanachs du Père Ubu (1898 and 1901), which to date have received little critical attention. Jarry's groundbreaking use of collage in these early works, his absurdist humour and his rethinking of literary authorship and artistic originality foreshadow many innovations of twentieth-century art and literature. In this generously illustrated study Marieke Dubbelboer examines key characteristics of Jarry's poetics through an analysis of the Almanachs and addresses their role within the European avant-garde.
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