Hugill has written an essential, sharp book on this vital subject. He has a brisk style that gives the book pace and punch. It is authoritative and full of wonders. He gives the geography of the movement and maps out the exhilaration of uselessness.—Richard Marshall, 3:AM Magazine—
Andrew Hugill, professor at De Montfort University and, equally important, Commandeur Requis of the Ordre de la Grand Gidouille in the Collège de ‘Pataphysique, has in well under three hundred pages traced the lineaments of a science which, like a particle in quantum mechanics, fundamentally resists accurate measurement. He describes a field known for its wordplay and willful obfuscation with clear language, an admirable breadth of reference, and an abiding respect for the complexity and, well, willfull obfuscation of his subject.
From the Theatre of the Absurd through to modern art, literature, music, even postmodern philosophy, pataphysics has been one of the driving forces of the avant-garde for more than a century. Hugill’s self-deprecating study provides us with not only an intellectual history of this fascinating but elusive community but also, and no less importantly, proffers valuable clues as to the nature of the creativity of the attitudes and tenets of its members.
—Times Higher Education