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Ubu Roi [Hardcover]

Alfred Jarry , B. Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1966
A new translation by Rob Melrose of the classic play Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry. Ubu Roi has divided audiences into passionate, dissenting camps since its 1896 premiere in Paris, an event that changed theater forever. With the first word of the play the audience erupted in pandemonium. People stormed the exits as fist fights broke out. Ubu was a scatological mockery that challenged assumptions about good taste and good behavior, a performance that questioned the very nature of theater and divided the audience between those who came expecting the ordinary and those who came hoping for the extraordinary. Now Ubu is seen as the precursor of the theatre of the absurd and playwrights like Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet. Rob Melrose’s new translation brings out the Shakespearean echoes of Ubu while using words from classic American comedy to get the Punch and Judy feel.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Gaberbocchus Press; New Ed edition (Dec 1966)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852470118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852470114
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,871,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent in every respect 20 May 2014
By judithm
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Commendably clear print and text layout; informative Introduction and translation notes; and of course fascinatingly thought provoking, colourful, mad play!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars supremely funny and farcical 22 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Hugely, magnificently funny. I saw a live production of this play on an education channel some years ago. It is totally anarchic and joyful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a worthwhile edition 16 Nov 2009
By Kyle A. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Ubu Roi" is surely Jarry's most widely known work, and it is an excellent and fun read indeed. However, this edition on New Directions is, unfortunately, badly done.

The translation here is by Barbara Wright, whose translations (of Jarry, Queneau, and others) I generally enjoy. I'm sure this one is equally good, but it is difficult to tell. The entire text of "Ubu Roi" is presented here in hand-written form (scribbled is more like it), with a pen the size of a sharpie. Add to that inane drawings (not Jarry's) around and behind the text on every page. Not only is this very distracting, but some words are not really legible. If you try hard enough you can read it, but it is a very tedious process and completely takes away the fun of reading "Ubu Roi".

With that said, there are a few additional texts in this volume that are printed normally, and which are worthwhile. First is Barbara Wright's useful introduction, and at the end are two essays on the theatre by Jarry, as well as his "Song of Disembraining". The two essays can be found in the Methuen edition, but the "Song..." I have not seen in any other easily available Jarry volume.

I'd highly recommend that any interested reader avoid this edition and pay a few more dollars for the Methuen edition. The translation there (by Connolly and Taylor) is excellent, includes the two subsequent Ubu plays, and features a lengthy introduction and larger selection of Jarry's essays on the theatre.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars supremely funny and farcical 22 Aug 1999
By S. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Hugely, magnificently funny. I saw a live production of this play on an education channel some years ago. It is totally anarchic and joyful.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just Ubu Roi! 10 May 2002
By Denise - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
1991 22nd printing includes; Ubu Roi (drama in 5 acts); The Song of Disembraining;2 essays on theatre by Alfred Jarry-"Questions of the Theatre" and "Of the Futility of the "Theatrical" In the Theatre";2 portraits of the author by L. Lantier and F.A. Cazals, several drawings by Jarry and Pierre Bonnard and 204 drawings by Franciszka Themerson doodled on lithographic plates. Fascinating little book!
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just Ubu Roi! 10 May 2002
By Denise - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
1991 22nd printing includes; Ubu Roi, a Drama in 5 acts; The Song of Disembraining by Alfred Jarry; 2 essays on the theatre by Jarry - "Questions of the Theatre" and "Of the Futility of the "Theatrical" In the Theatre";2 portraits of author by L. Lantier and F. A. Cazals;several drawings by Jarry and Pierre Bonnard;204 drawings by Franciszka Themerson doodled on lithographic plates. Fascinating book!
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