Cover image for ’Pataphysics Unrolled Edited by Katie L. Price and Michael R. Taylor

’Pataphysics Unrolled

Edited by Katie L. Price and Michael R. Taylor

COMING IN APRIL

$109.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08958-4
Coming in April

312 pages
7" × 9.5"
20 color/19 b&w illustrations
2022

Refiguring Modernism

’Pataphysics Unrolled

Edited by Katie L. Price and Michael R. Taylor

“Continuing and elaborating Alfred Jarry’s notion of ’pataphysics, this collection tracks ’pataphysics’ continued appearances and developments in ensuing avant-garde movements, modern and contemporary art, the intersections of art, literature, and science— and the far-reaching effects of pushing against normative logics and thinking in exceptional ways.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
  • Subjects
In the 1890s, French poet and playwright Alfred Jarry founded pataphysics, the absurdist “science of imaginary solutions,” a concept that has been nominally recognized as the precursor to Dadaism, Surrealism, and the Theater of the Absurd, among other movements. Over a century after Jarry “made the gesture of dying,” Katie L. Price and Michael R. Taylor argue that it is time to take the comedic intervention of pataphysics seriously.

’Pataphysics Unrolled collects critical and creative essays to create an unauthorized account of pataphysical experimentation from its origins in the late nineteenth century through the contemporary moment. Reaching beyond the geographic and cultural boundaries normally associated with pataphysics, this volume presents rich readings of pataphysical syzygy, traces the influence of pataphysics across disciplines and outside of coteries such as the Collège de ’Pataphysique, and asks fundamental questions about the field of modern and contemporary studies that challenge distinctions between the modern and the postmodern, high and low culture, the serious and the comic. Touching on disciplines such as literature, art, architecture, education, music, and technology, this book reveals how pataphysics has been a platform and medium for persistent intellectual, poetic, conceptual, and artistic experimentation for over a century.

In addition to the editors, the contributors to this volume include Charles Bernstein, Marc Décimo, Adam Dickinson, Johanna Drucker, Craig Dworkin, Catherine Hansen, James Hendler, John Heon, Ted Hiebert, Andrew Hugill, Steve McCaffery, Seth McDowell, Jerome McGann, Anne M. Mulhall, Marcus O’Dair, Jean-Michel Rabaté, Orchid Tierney, and Brandon Walsh.

“Continuing and elaborating Alfred Jarry’s notion of ’pataphysics, this collection tracks ’pataphysics’ continued appearances and developments in ensuing avant-garde movements, modern and contemporary art, the intersections of art, literature, and science— and the far-reaching effects of pushing against normative logics and thinking in exceptional ways.”

Katie L. Price is Associate Director at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, a codirector of the Philadelphia Avant-Garde Studies Consortium, and Interviews Editor at Jacket2. She is the author of the chapbook BRCA: Birth of a Patient.

Michael R. Taylor is the Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He is the author of Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, and Thomas Chimes: Adventures in ’Pataphysics.

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgements

Editors’ Note

Introduction: “Unrolled by the Saliva and Teeth of the Water”

Katie L. Price

Part 1: “And Behold, the Wallpaper of Faustroll’s Body”: Jarry’s Pataphysical Invitation

1. Twisted Witz: Experiments in Psychopathology and Humor by Dr. Faustroll and His Pataphysical Progeny

John Heon

2. Pataphallics in Jarry’s Novels

Jean-Michel Rabaté

3. Wartime Pataphysics: Postwar Surrealism, the Main à Plume Group, and Boris Rybak’s Intraphysics

Catherine Hanson

4. Marcel Duchamp and the Collège de ‘Pataphysique

Marc Décimo

Translated by Anne M. Mulhall

5. The Potential Energy of Texts [ΔU = −PΔV]

Craig Dworkin

Part 2: “Like a Musical Score, All Art and All Science”: Pataphysics After Jarry and Beyond the Collège

6. Pataphysics in Philadelphia: The Strange Case of James E. Brewton

Michael R. Taylor

7. Circumstantial Evidence: Pataphysical Inflexions in Edward Dorn’s Gunslinger and bpNichol’s Probable Systems

Steve McCaffery

8. Beyond “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”: Pataphysics and Popular Music

Marcus O’Dair

9. Art and the Pataphysics of Exception: Or, How a Sieve Becomes a Time Machine

Ted Hiebert

Part 3: “Written in the Curves of the Limbs”: Pataphysical Criticism

10. Reading, Writing, and Rhythmatic

Jerome McGann

11. The Patacritical Demon, Two Decades Later

Johanna Drucker

12. Reflections on Applied Research in Patacriticism: Prism and Reading’s Shape

Brandon Walsh

13. The Pataquerical Imagination: Midrashic Antinomianism and the Promise of Bent Studies

Charles Bernstein

Part 4: “Progression to an Infinite Degree Was Prophesized Therein”: Pataphysics’ Possible Futures

14. Concerning an Unfindable Architecture

Seth McDowell

15. Metabolic Poetics: Writing the Anthropocene

Adam Dickinson

16. Pataphysics and Computing

Andrew Hugill and James Hendler

17. Pataphysics and the Academy

Orchid Tierney

Selected Bibliography

List of Contributors

Index