Select Previous Select image button Select next
A little background ...
Isidore Ducasse was
born in 1847. He was an extraordinary
thinker and writer but died in
1871, aged just 24. Only two of his
works survived, the first “Les Chants de Maldoror”, ostensibly,
but not obviously, written in canto form, published under the nom de
plume Le Comte de Lautréamont. His second book, a fragment only, was
the beginnings of a book of “Poésies” - which are not poems at
all. He would have disappeared into obscurity had he not been
discovered by André Breton’s
Surrealist group, who declared Ducasse
to be a true prophet of Surrealism.
Alfred Jarry, absurdist playwrite was an even greater influence on
André Breton. Jarry wrote the three Ubu
plays ( Ubu Roi, Ubu cuckold, and Ubu in chains) and also invented
the mock science of 'Pataphysics – which you will have heard of, but
perhaps like me, didn’t realise it at the time...
The first verse of The Beatles song 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' on the Abbey Road Album, goes
" June was quizzical, studied 'Pataphysical Science in the home, evenings all alone with a test tube Oh, Oh-o-Ooh.
Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine calls her on the phone. "Can I take you out to the pictures Jo-o-o-oan?"
But as she's getting ready to leave, a knock comes on the door... "
thus, Joan became the first victim of Maxwell's silver hammer (not The Beatles most tasteful lyric was it?).
The 'Pataphysical world invented by Alfred Jarry postulated multiple parallel universes in which all possible outcomes occur (100 years before the astrophysical theory of n dimensional space came up with the very same idea). In the parallel 'Pataphysical universe pictured below, Joan, being quizzical, declined Maxwell's invitation, because her favourite TV programme, University Challenge was on that evening, where her alumni unfortunately were rather heavily defeated by Kings College, captained by the supreme cheat Ubu Roi. Joan went on to become a highly successful 'Pataphysical Scientist.