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Visits of Love cover image Visits of Love

Alfred Jarry

Translated by Iain White. Introduced by Alastair Brotchie.
ISBN 0 947757 63 5
112pp 21 x 135cm
out of print
 
 

Alfred Jarry is chiefly known as the creator of UBU, the anti-hero of what is acknowledged as the first “absurd” drama, but this was only one facet of a writer now seen as one of the most vital (and peculiar) influences on the French literature of this century.

Visits of Love was Jarry’s second novel, originally written in 1898 for a publisher specialising in erotica (who must have been perplexed by the result). The “visits” consist of a remarkable series of tableaux, dialogues and assignations which deviously undermine the dreary situations of conventional erotic writing. They become more and more extravagant, transcending the present day, passing beyond death, returning to fabulous versions of historical myths, or to the lavatorial tryst of Madame Ubu. Jarry’s style is pushed to its furthest limits, from crude buffoonery to ornate Symbolist texts of earnest intensity.

Certain chapters are unique in his writing: Raymond Queneau described The Old Man of the Mountain as Jarry’s most perfect work, and the text Fear Visits Love is among his most often reprinted works in France. Despite its curious origins, the novel is an essential part of Jarry’s oeuvre.

 
 

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