Saturday, April 19, 2008
Ah, now Bike day did arrive…three days gone in a whirl.
So a couple more links – Jarry on a bicycle deserves a mention, this says it better than I could:
Alfred Jarry: a Cyclist on the Wild Side by Jim McGurn
"Jarry was no Bois de Boulogne buff. He belonged to the avant-garde community of writers and artists. For these people cycling was more than just a pleasure, and a cycle ride could be just as beautiful or radical as a poem or a painting. They were often passionate cyclists, undaunted by Paris traffic, and many of them enjoyed the sweaty pleasures of strenuous long distance riding. They saw the bicycle as a liberator, a machine to extend the potentialities of the human being. Jarry described it as an 'external skeleton' which allows mankind to outstrip the process of biological evolution. "
And he also makes interesting use of a 'k' in the spelling of ‘Pataphysics, which I have never seen before, but apparently comes from Shattuck’s The Banquet Years, back in 1958.
I also found it used like this: 'Pataphysicks
A Portrait of the Artist as a Very Young or Very Old Innovator:
Creativity at the Extremes of the Life Cycle (a PDF)
© David W. Galenson
University of Chicago
National Bureau of Economic Research
I haven’t read the whole thing, yet, but it looks interesting. The section on Jarry runs from 42-44, but he appears throughout the piece.
'Pataphysicks is the science of the realm beyond metaphysics... It will study the laws which govern exceptions and will explain the universe supplementary to this one...
Definition: 'Pataphysicks is the science of imaginary solutions.
Shattuck, Roger. 1958. The Banquet Years. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
Thus Richardson argues that Jarry anticipated the multiple viewpoints of Cubism in a 'Pataphysickal treatise of 1898: “to claim the shape of a watch is round [is] a manifestly false proposition - since it appears in profile as a narrow rectangular construction, elliptical on three sides; and why the devil would one only have noticed its shape at the moment of looking at the time?” David W. Galenson
If you want more on Jarry, including a nod to RAW (along with the Marx Brothers, the Goons and Mad magazine, Monty Python and Flann O'Brien) try
Alfred Jarry: Absinthe, Bicycles and Merdre at Blather.
Has the spelling as 'Pataphysicks fallen into disuse in English?
I’ll have to ask our resident:
Correspondant Réel Collège de 'Pataphysique
who knows more about all that than I do, especially as the original word came out of French, so translations, I guess, always add something, or take something away…or just create more ambiguity…
I recommend Borsky’s piece on RAW, written in French for the 'Correspondancier', a magazine of the Collège de 'Pataphysique
(introducing Bob's 'Patapsychology' to the official lexicon) :-)
and translated by him into English for Maybe Quarterly (turn on yer speakers for that version)
And, of course, Ragu added to this whole genre with After the Tricycle, It Comes Always the Bicycle, in the latest edition of MQ.
And if you read that you might want to go spin Duchamp's bicycle wheel (why not?) at Andrew Stafford's quite wonderful animated Duchamp pages - Understanding Duchamp.