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A Pataphysicial Primer

This page has been composed at the request of friends, students and museum visitors. It is by no means a complete reference guide! It is merely a list of favorites and goodies to give the curious reader a place to start unlearning.


We're sorry about using Amazon as the source for so many of these books – but they make it so easy. Be sure to check your local library and independent bookseller before ordering anything from them. Some of these texts may also be available on Project Gutenberg and Patacosmos.


Jarry's Texts

Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll ‘Pataphysician,  by Alfred Jarry


The Ubu Plays,  by Alfred Jarry

(at project gutenberg)


The Supermale, by Alfred Jarry


Days and Nights, by Alfred Jarry


Practical Construction of a Time Machine, by Alfred Jarry


Many of the above texts (and so much more) are available in this excellent 2 volume set from Atlas Press

Volume I of the Collected Works of Alfred Jarry. Black Minutes, Caesar-Antichrist, Essays, Speculations


Volume II of the Collected Works of Alfred Jarry. Absolute Love, Days and Nights and Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician.


Pataphysical Studies and Intellectual Histories

'Pataphysics: A Useless Guide, by Andrew Hugill


'Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science, by Christian Bök 


Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life, by Alastair Brotchie


Alfred Jarry: An Imagination in Revolt, by Jill Fell


The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France - 1885 to World War I, by Roger Shattuck 


A ‘Pataphysicians Library, by Ben Fisher


Evergreen Review - Number 13 - What Is 'Pataphysics?  


The Encyclopedia of Stupidity, by Matthijs van Boxsel


Tarology, by Enrique Enriquez


Conscious and Unconscious Pataphysical Literature (Through the eyes of the Conscious Pataphysician, all literature is Pataphysical)

Mount Analogue, by René Daumal

A Night of Serious Drinking, by René Daumal


Impressions of Africa, by Raymond Roussel


Locus Solus, by Raymond Roussel


The Third Policeman, by Flann O'Brien


Life: A User's Manual, by Georges Perec


Mood Indigo, by Boris Vain


Exercises in Style, (and many other books) by Raymond Queneau


The Writings of Marcel Duchamp

Labyrinths (and many other compilations), by Jorge Luis Borges

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster (For kids AND adults) 


Texts and Articles on the Web

The avant guard case of Alfred Jarry

Alfred Jarry's Semantics : a web of disambiguation, mirrors, energy, machines, and potential collisions, by Linda Klieger Stillman

Pataphysics, by Jean Baudrillard

Pataphysics of the Year 2000, by Jean Baudrillard


Pataphysics: A Religion in the Making, by Asger Jorn


Imaginary Music Technologies: a survey, by Professor Andrew Hugill

Transparency, Opacity, Antinomy, 'Pataphysics, by Professor Andrew Hugill

Excerpts from: 'Pataphysics, the Poetics of An Imaginary Science by Christian Bök 


Broken Circle &/ Spiral Hill?: Smithson’s spirals, pataphysics, syzygy and survival, by Edward A. Shanken


Puppetry and Pataphysics, Populism and the UBU Cycle by Kimberly Jannarone

Phenomenology of Patagonian Petroleum Philosophical Pataphysics


Pataphysics is Dead Serious, by Pascal Engel


Our Science of Pataphysics, by Alastair Brotchie


Corruption Contraption - The gidouille as a transubstantiating device, by Nicholas Lowe


‘Pataphysics’ useless guffaw, by Richard Marshall


Pata or Quantum: Duchamp and the End of Determinist Physics, by Jonathan Williams

25 Reasons Alfred Jarry is the Merdre

Pataphysics and Futurist Performance Art, Sophia Burridge


The Aesthetics of Paradoxism

Postmodernism Has Forgotten How To Laugh, Pataphysics and the hilarity of humorless academics

The avant-garde case of Alfred Jarry. By Joost Haan

The Imaginary Solution, By Craig Dworkin

INTERRELEVANT, Zen, Poetry, Pataphysics



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