Thursday, November 03, 2016

Alfred Jarry & Pataphysics

Today's and tomorrow's posts form a kind of reverse rabbit-hole trip - starting at the bottom of the hole.

A 19th century French writer was found at this rabbit-hole's terminus: Alfred Jarry. He was born on
8 September 1873, died way too soon, on 1 November 1907, of undiagnosed Tuberculosis - not helped by his alleged alcoholism.

Calling Jarry "a writer" is hardly enough though. He is best known for his play Ubu Roi (King Ubu). He also coined the term and philosophical concept of "Pataphysics".

For more on Alfred Jarry's life, in addition to Wikipedia's page there's an interesting review from The Guardian of a biography of Jarry by Alastair Brotchie HERE

Jarry's natal chart is available at Astrodatabank.

His chart is dominated by a Fire Grand Trine linking Moon in Aries, Mars in Sagittarius and Venus/Uranus in Leo. This forms very clear harmonious network linking his inner self, his energies, and his art's avant-garde pull towards the unexpected and the sometimes absurd. The "absurd" to my mind, relates to the philosophy(?) he invented and called Pataphysics.

"Pataphysics is a science which we have invented and for which a crying need is generally expressed." As usual, he was at least half a century ahead of his time. (Quote is from the Guardian review linked above).

I'd like to inderstand Pataphysics but, as yet, I'm confused! Maybe that's the way it was meant to be. I'm reminded, by Pataphysics, of of British comedian Stanley Unwin's spiel style:

I do rather like the Pataphysical Year though - compare this with our zodiac and its signs for a laugh!

From Wikipedia:

More tomorrow.


mike said...

Definitely an interesting fellow! I'm completely unfamiliar with him and his pataphysics, with its nuances to the modern quantum physics. His alter ego, Ubu, bordered on psychosis, but he apparently played it well...LOL. It would have grated on my nerves, I suppose. Beside his alcoholism, addiction to absinthe, and tuberculosis, Wiki states that he drank ether...geez...that must have kicked his liver and brain into the disposal!

His alter ego(s) and portrayal of split personalities is very Mercurial, and Mercury is the final dispositor of all other planets except Saturn in Capricorn. His time of birth is shown as 5:00 AM, but is probably off by a little, considering the unlikely exactness of 5:00 AM and the time-keeping of the late 1800s. A birth time of 4:30 AM places Mercury on the Asc, using astrotheme's calculation. Both astrotheme and astro use the same tob as 5:00 AM, but astrotheme provides an Asc of 7*30' Virgo vs astro's 9*42' Virgo.

The grand trine you discuss is indicative of his inclination toward absurdity, but his Mercury trine Neptune adds much to his imagination and tapping into the ethereal. I suspect his larger-than-life personality (his and Ubu's!) is related to the Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Mercury-ruled Virgo Asc.

mike (again) said...

BTW - The great Sagittarius stellium of 1899 would have rang his trine like a bell and slower moving Saturn and Uranus had an effect for several years. Note that transiting Neptune and Pluto in Gemini were opposing the stellium, concurrently setting-up a T-square with his natal Sun-Jupiter and Mars placements for several years just prior. Quite an electrifying time for him. Coincides with his most productive years in his short life:

Then came his Saturn's his Saturn return in 1902, followed by transiting Saturn in early Aquarius opposing his Venus-Uranus in early 1904, coinciding with his decline in health. His Aquarius sixth house is ruled by Saturn and Uranus. His last novel, "The Supermale", was written in 1902.

Twilight said...

mike + (again) ~ Lots of good and interesting points there, thank you! Yes his Sun/Jupiter did match King Ubu very well.

His Mercurial nature is, kind of, Mercury on steroids or Mercury gone mad. I can't help wondering how he'd have developed without his alcohol, and other, addictions.
These mind-altering addictions had to mess with his basic astrological potential.
Then again, Neptune's addictive influence...had found its way in. His apparent teetering on the edge of madness, but managing to stay, but only just, on the right side of it, has a lot to do with his habit. His astrology aided both best and worst in him I'd say.

Nice point about the Sagittarius stellium at turn of century!

I'd never heard of him, nor of his strange Pataphysics. He'd have fitted in in 2016, we're becoming as absurd and near-crazy as he!

mike (again) said...

His play, "Ubu Roi", could well portend our current, USA election:

"As the play begins, Ubu [Donald Trump] leads a revolution, and kills the King of Poland [Bill Clinton] and most of the royal family. The Queen of Poland [Hillary Clinton] then dies. The ghost of the dead king calls for revenge, prompting Ubu [Trump] to begin killing the population and taking their money. Ubu's henchman [Mike Pence] gets thrown into prison; he then escapes to Russia, where he gets the Tsar [Putin] to declare war on Ubu. As Ubu heads out to confront the invading Russians, his wife [Melania] tries to steal money that Ubu has stashed in the palace [Trump Tower]. She is driven away by Bougrelas [Bernie Sanders], the crown prince, who is leading a revolt of the people against Ubu. She runs away to her husband, Ubu, who has, in the meantime, defeated the Russians, and who has also been attacked by a bear [Ted Cruz in disguise]. Ubu's wife pretends to be the angel Gabriel, in order to try to scare Ubu into forgiving her for her attempt to steal from him. They fight, and she is rescued by the entrance of Bougrelas [Bernie], who is after Ubu. Ubu knocks down the attackers with the body of the dead bear [Ted], after which he and his wife flee to France, which ends the play."

Excerpt from Wiki, brackets are my updates:

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Love it! LOL - Well done you! It's nice that Bernie gets a look in, and as the good guy too. :-D

All rather Shakespearean...even to "Exit, pursued by a bear."