Tuesday, June 21, 2005

"The Passion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race" by Alfred Jarry

Be prepared for some delightful blasphemy this solstice day, although one could also say that this wildly imaginative retelling of the Christian "passion" may be far from Mel Gibson's, but oddly respectful, all the same. Only Alfred Jarry could have combined his lust for bicycling with the "Greatest Story Ever Told" -- the greatest, that is, perhaps, until this one! Read by Scoot.

Some interesting facts about Alfred Jarry: The second run of his iconoclastic play, Ubu Roi, was done with marionettes. He loved wearing gaucho pants and a paper shirt with a painted tie. He lived between two floors of his apartment house (if you've seen Being John Malkovich, a movie that had to have been inspired in part by Jarry's brand of absurdity, you'll know what we mean). He indulged in absinthe, opium, and shooting pistols at random in the busy streets of Paris. He once painted himself completely green. He founded the science of 'Pataphysics, without which Zippy the Pinhead would be lost. All before he died at 34 in 1907. Oh, yes, and he was also a writer whose fierce satirism and bewildering rule-breaking have yet to be rivalled.

2 comments:

miette said...

Thought I would take the liberty of adding to your Jarry compendium: W.B. Yeats, after watching the first performance of Ubu Roi, had only one thing to say about it: "After us the Savage God." (Wonder what he'd have to say about podcasting?)


Jarry's a favourite, thank you!

Scoot said...

That is truly inspiring, Miette. Yeats at Jarry's premiere! One wonders how such chance encounters affect literary history. And, of course, Jarry has a very special place of honor in our personal pantheon.