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What is 'Pataphysics?



(Capitalization and apostrophe included or omitted as per original source.)


’Pataphysics is the science of that which is superinduced upon metaphysics, whether within or beyond the latter’s limitations, extending as far beyond metaphysics as the latter extends beyond physics. … Pataphysics will be, above all, the science of the particular, despite the common opinion that the only science is that of the general. Pataphysics will examine the laws governing exceptions, and will explain the universe supplementary to this one.   - Alfred Jarry


'Pataphysics is patient; 'Pataphysics is benign; 'Pataphysics envies nothing, is never distracted, never puffed up, it has neither aspirations nor seeks not its own, it is even-tempered, and thinks not evil; it mocks not iniquity: it is enraptured with scientific truth; it supports everything, believes everything, has faith in everything and upholds everything that is.   - Le Collège de ’Pataphysique


Pataphysics passes easily from one state of apparent definition to another. Thus it can present itself under the aspect of a gas, a liquid or a solid.   - Istituto Patafisico Vitellianese


To understand pataphysics, is to misunderstand pataphysics.    - Andrew Hugill


Pataphysics is science, albeit one with an aesthetic sensibility; it regards “humor” and “the serious” with the same imperturbable gaze. 

- Alastair Brotchie


Pataphysics "the science of the particular", does not, therefore, study the rules governing the general recurrence of a periodic incident (the expected case) so much as study the games governing the special occurrence of a sporadic accident (the excepted case). … Jarry performs humorously on behalf of literature what Nietzsche performs seriously on behalf of philosophy. Both thinkers in effect attempt to dream up a “gay science”, whose joie de vivre thrives wherever the tyranny of truth has increased our esteem for the lie and wherever the tyranny of reason has increased our esteem for the mad.    - Christian Bök


The merit of pataphysics is that it has a least confirmed that there is no metaphysical justification for forcing everyone to believe in the same absurdity.   - Asger Jorn


One can consider the works of Heidegger as a development of ‘Pataphysics conforming to the principles of Sophrotatos the Armenian and his first disciple, Alfred Jarry.    - Gilles Deleuze


But why bother wanting to be a pataphysician? That’s what you are already.   - Janvier-Jean Mauvoisin


‘Pataphysics is simply an awareness that everything, including our very selves - is what we pretend it to be.   - Hans Spinnermen


If physics proposes: “You have a brother and he likes cheese”, then metaphysics replies :”if you have a brother, he likes cheese. But ‘Pataphysics says : ”You don’t have a brother and he likes cheese”.   - Georges Perec


‘Pataphysics is inexhaustible.   - Dr. Irénée-Louis Sandomir


You have seen that far from regretting the past I would simply suggest that we improve it…’Pataphysics will always be plunging ahead, precisely because it is static in time, and because time, itself, is retrograde by definition.   - Boris Vain


But is there any other canonical way of viewing the future (whether one calls oneself serious, in the profane or pataphysical sense of the word), than as a bouquet of imaginary Solutions – that is, potentialities?   - The Oulipo


‘Pataphysics does not enlighten any more than it should enlighten. Thanks to this, orgies of salvation are avoided.   - Le Collège de ’Pataphysique


Make no mistake about it: ‘Pataphysics pataphysicises itself through the ‘Pataphysics of pataphysical modes.   - Le Collège de ’Pataphysique


That which is serious is ‘Pataphysics.   - Le Collège de ’Pataphysique


It’s the spirit of pataphysics that’s grabbed me, and it’s through the spirit of something that one draws inspiration from it.   - Eugène Ionesco

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