- 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
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #402,810 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Ubu Roi (Dover Thrift Editions) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.