Adventures in Pataphysics
Excerpts from Alfred Jarry
FESS. The Pataphysician, axiom & principle of the identity of opposites, clamped onto your ears, and you, flying-fish, to your retractable wings, is the dwarf atop the giant, beyond metaphysics; he is, through you, the Antichrist and God as well, horse of the Spirit, Minus-in-Plus, Less-which-is-More, kinematics of the zero left in our eyes, polyhedral infinity.
Once the germinator, you are now for me the sword; viper’s fang, you sow and burn; flaming pale, you blow upon the fire.
You are the owl, the sex and Spirit, hermaphrodite, you create and destroy.
Bounce on your poles, globe equal to Earth, which you could drill right through the depths, and before disappearing bless me with your supreme spittle, PLUS-IN-MINUS.
Ceaser-Antichrist, The Heraldic Act
UBU. Pataphysician. Pataphysics is a science invented by ourselves and whose business is bursting.
Black Minutes, Puppet Play
UBU. The sphere is the perfect form. The sun is the perfect star. As to the form of man, nothing is more perfect than the head. ever lifted to the sun, and tending towards its shape; unless it be the eye, mirror of this star and semblant to it.
The sphere is the form of angels. To man it is given to be an incomplete angel. More perfect than a cylinder, less perfect than the sphere: from the Barrel radiates the hyperphysical body. We, its isomorph, are beautiful.
Man, dazzled, bows before our Beauty, which reflect unconsciously our soul of Wisdom.
Black Minutes, Art & Science
All arts borrow the subject they treat from time. It is well known that there is only one difference between literature and the plastic arts (painting, sculpture), at least according to the teaching of philosophy professors. The difference is that, of necessity, the objects described in a work of literature file past successively and one by one: if, for example, a novelist has to speak of a man, a sheep and a tree, he will not present the, to the reader in one go, but one after the other, either the man first, or the tree, or the sheep. With painting the opposite is true: the viewer at a glance takes in as many objects simultaneously as it pleased the painter to gather together. In this way, a painting or statue captures and fixes a moment of time’s duration.
Historical reconstructions have ever been pretexts for works of art, and as such have always been seductive to writers and artists. The painter is charmed by the peculiar colors and bizarre shapes of old-age jewelry, just as the words of bygone eras seem all the more sonorous and expressive to the writer because they are incomprehensible, even to him. He deduces that their meaning has been lost in the mists of time.
Works of art can safely dispense with the notion of time: the desire to reconstruct a period merely delays the arrival of the moment when works of art are set free from the shackles of time, that is to say when they are aureoled in glory and are found to have become immortal, eternal, everlasting. If one wants a work of art one day to become eternal, it is not simpler, by liberating oneself from the skirts of time, to make it eternal right away?
Time in Art
Pataphysics is the science of these present and future beings and contrivances, along with the power their use confers.
Visions of Present and Future