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Alfred Jarry by Alastair Brotchie
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Alfred Jarry

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Alfred Jarry by Alastair Brotchie
Paperback $45.00
Aug 21, 2015 | ISBN 9780262528436

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  • Aug 21, 2015 | ISBN 9780262528436

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Alfred Jarry provides many new facts, some pertinent analyses, and a clutch of outrageously amusing yarns.—Mark Polizzotti, Bookforum

Alastair Brotchie brilliantly evokes the avant-garde artistic movements of fin-de-siecle Paris in all their glittering grubbiness.

Charlotte Keith, Varsity

Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life by Alastair Brotchie is a superb chronicle of the life and times of the fin-de-siècle French writer.

Times Literary Supplement — (Book of the Year 2011)

An enthralling, scrupulously researched, and elegantly written biography.

Mark Ford, The New York Review of Books

[Brotchie] gives us an unmatched and vivid picture of the belle epoque’s avant-garde, of which Jarry was an important, original part.

Michael Moorcock, The Guardian

…[Brotchie’s] tone is clear and informed, rooted in a familiarity with Jarry that has something quite personal about it, which is all for the good.

Allan Graubard, Leonardo On-Line

Brotchie’s archival work and translations are meticulous…Highly recommended.—M. Gaddis Rose


[Brotchie] skilfully moves between providing a relatively straightforward and sympathetic account of the writer’s life and critically sorting through the narratives that have sustained and shaped the long-standing image of Jarry… Brotchie’s refusal to mythologise stands as the book’s greatest strength, and as a fitting testament to the manifold complexity of Alfred Jarry.

Karl Whitney, 3:AM Magazine

How a schoolboy caricature evolved into Jarry’s best-known creation, his monstrous ‘every-man’, Père Ubu, is a fascinating story which Brotchie tells with impressive scholarship, sympathy and wit.

Peter Blegvad, The Spectator

Brotchie’s painstaking and drily funny biography is now the most ample account of Jarry and his importance that is available in our language; it is unlikely ever to be bettered.

Kevin Jackson, The Literary Review

That Jarry comes across as both more and less than we might expect from his reputation and his writings is a result of Brotchie so resolutely and expertly keeping his eye on the available facts and not allowing himself to wander into speculation and hero-worship.

William Bamberger, Rain Taxi

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