Alfred Jarry

Alfred Jarry was a French author and dramatist. The production of his Ubu Roi caused great controversy and riot on its opening night.

Alfred Jarry

Alfred Jarry

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907) was a French writer of plays, novels, and poetry. His most well-known work, the play Ubu Roi (1896), was first performed in 1896 at the Theatre de l’Oeuvre. Jarry died at the early age of 34 in 1907.

cover image of the book Ubu Roi

Ubu Roi

One of the most extraordinary events of the late nineteenth century in Paris was the opening on December 11, 1896, at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, of Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi. The audience was scandalized by this revolutionary satire, developed from a schoolboy farce, which began with a four-letter word, defied all the traditions of the stage, and ridiculed the established values of bourgeois society.

Barbara Wright’s witty translation of this riotous work is accompanied with drawings by Franciszka Themerson. Two previously untranslated essays in which Jarry explains his theories of the drama have also been included.

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