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Ubu Roi (Dover Thrift Editions) by [Jarry, Alfred]
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Ubu Roi (Dover Thrift Editions) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1607 KB
  • Print Length: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (10 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A3IR566
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #402,810 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There had been nothing remotely like 'Ubu Roi' in French theatre when the play was staged for the first time in the 1890s. Today it can be difficult for modern audiences to appreciate the once daring and innovative style of the play and its language. This particular edition of 'Ubu Roi' hardly helps matters by translating the names of Ubu Roi and his wife as 'Papa Turd' and 'Mama Turd'. Jarry would not have approved.
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Format: Paperback
Alfred Jarry is mostly remembered for his creating the infamous Pere Ubu (translated in this edition as "Papa Turd" for scatological effect)and for his science of imaginary solutions, 'Pataphysics. As 'Pataphysics seeks to disrupt the mechanisms of desire inherent in scientific knowledge, 'Ubu Roi' seeks to disrupt the illusionistic and narrative devices of the theatre (particularly the 'Realist' theatre prevailent at that time in Paris). As Jarry himself writes in his preface, "I have made all the cuts the actors wanted, even cutting several passages indispensible to the meaning and equilibrium of the play".
Based upon the stories that Jarry created with accomplices at school to debunk his blundering science teacher M Herbert, this is Jarry's easliest production; a nascent example of the absurdist humour and irreverant illogic that would shape most of his later writing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jarry is a new author to me. Superbly absurd and scarily familiar to one of my own creations. I was until recently unaware of 'Pataphysics' and it was uplifting to discover it for the first time. When I wrote 'Maud' and it's sequel, I thought I was unique in inventing the science of 'Passive Observation', little did I know I had been well and truly trounced many years before. Love this and his other works, a true genius.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A truly whacky tale that makes you doubt it was written in the 19th century - if you like the avant garde, you'll love this!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bfe1c3c) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0558a0) out of 5 stars Roll over Dover 5 July 2005
By Peter T. Schwenger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Silvermom's review of Ubu Roi on this site is misleading. It refers to the New Directions edition of the play, now unfortunately out of print. The Dover edition does not have the delightful line drawings, nor the added essays on theatre by Jarry. Also, I don't much care for Dover's gratuitous (and inaccurate) translation of "Ubu Roi" as "King Turd." On the other hand, as far as English translations go, Dover's is pretty much the only game in town. And Jarry's game is wonderfully worth playing, full of rambunctious anarchic high spirits. Just so you have a better idea of what you'll actually be getting.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bff3ef4) out of 5 stars A turd of a translation. 1 Jun. 2009
By Alan H. Ware - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not the greatest translation of Jarry's masterpiece.

As a Dover thrift edition, it is thrifty and cheap. . . you get what you pay for.

I would recommend the Cyril Connelly/Simon Watson Taylor version in it's place.
HASH(0x9c05936c) out of 5 stars strange tale 4 Feb. 2015
By Michell Nzoiwu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Perhaps I just didn't understand it, but this was a rather strange play. I didn't really understand the point of all the escapades, and the jargon and spelling was so unfamiliar. Just strange.
HASH(0x9c01a7b0) out of 5 stars What a hysterical read! 4 Mar. 2013
By Dakota Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this play! So funny and bizarre. Breaks barriers for its time and creates a lot of good discussion for class. Fast moving and easy to get through.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d955aec) out of 5 stars A CLASSIC, BUT NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH OR PRUDISH 27 Mar. 2011
By David Keymer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been rereading some of the classics of absurdist theater -Georg Buchner's Woyzeck, Eugene Ionesco's The Bald Soprano and The Lesson, and this play, Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, Ubu the King. Reading Ubu again is like reading it new, so fresh and vivid its language and imagery is, so original a play it is, even now, 115 years after its first performance in Paris. A performance run that lasted two days, by the way -one night of dress rehearsal in front of an audience and one of full performance. The audiences at both performances were by all accounts unruly, and it's easy to see why when you read the play. Even by modern standards, it is unbelievably rude and deliberately offensive. But it is also extremely funny and, looking ahead to Dada and Artaud's Theatre of the Violent, definitely influential.

If there is a parallel to Jarry's scabrous play, it might be some of the musical works of Erik Satie, a contemporary of Jarry, who turned away from romantic ideals of composition to create musical fragments with whimsical titles -"Four Movements in the Shape of a Pear," "Sketches and Flirtations of an Overweight Bonhomme," "Flabby Preludes for a Dog." Both Jarry and Satie were early surrealists, but Jarry took the cake on offensiveness.

Oddly enough, that's one of the great pleasures of this play -its offensiveness, its deliberate and sustained air of vulgarity. Ubu is no play for the faint of heart. The playgoer who tolerate profanity because it is appropriate to the situation will find no excuse for profanity her, because Jarry uses it simply to epater le bourgeois (shock/cock a snook at the middle class). Thus, the repeated use of hardcore profanities that spot the pages of Ubu.

The center of the play is Ubu and the play tells of his run for the kingship of Poland. Why Poland? Because Poland didn't exist in Jarry's time. It hadn't for over a hundred years, ever since the respectable rulers of Europe had sliced and diced it into nonexistence in three successive partitions in the eighteenth century. Poland was Nowhere Land and thus fertile ground for Jarry's phantasmagoric imagination. And Ubu himself? He's vulgar -that's taken for granted--but also greedy, vain, cowardly, profane, no scabrous!, and treacherous. Let's see, have I left anything out? Oh, yes! He's also very very funny.

It took more than a generation before Ubu Roi gained champions. In the 1920s, the Dadaists and the Surrealists adopted it. In the 50s, it was resurrected again for presentation by Julian Beck's and Judith Malina's influential avant garde Living Theater. We saw Beck/Malina's theater in performance in the late sixties. The climax of the performance was an invitation to come on stage, where we were encouraged to take off our clothes and, if not that, pile onto a huge lump of other spectators so the cowards who had stayed in their seats in the theater could look at us. It was interesting how your perspective changed when you went on stage to play, not a character, but yourself, and yourself on display.

Ultimately, that's what theater like this was about: playing with language, meaning and values, and, behind that, exposing us to ourselves, in all our vulnerabilities and behind all our camouflages.
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