HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Ubu Plays (1962)

by Alfred Jarry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
596940,693 (3.85)17
The NHB Drama Classics series presents the world's greatest plays in affordable, highly readable editions for students, actors and theatregoers. The hallmarks of the series are accessible introductions (focussing on the play's theatrical and historical background, together with an author biography, key dates and suggestions for further reading) and the complete text, uncluttered with footnotes. The translations, by leading experts in the field, are accurate and above all actable. The editions of English-language plays include a glossary of unusual words and phrases to aid understanding. This Drama Classics edition of Ubu contains three plays following the adventures of Pa and Ma Ubu in their absurd world: King Ubu, Cuckold Ubu and Slave Ubu. It is translated and introduced by Kenneth McLeish, the most widely respected and prolific translator of drama in Britain.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 17 mentions

English (7)  Spanish (2)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
8402073808
  archivomorero | Dec 15, 2022 |
8402073808
  archivomorero | Dec 15, 2022 |
This was probably the 1st edition of these plays that I read & the 1st bk by Jarry that I read. This is also sometimes (usually?) credited as the 1st "absurdist" play - the progenitor of the Theater of the Absurd later associated w/ Albee & Ionescu. I don't know of any earlier examples so I accept it as such. Given how important to me ABSURDISM is as a way of annihilating & critiqueing the death-trap of pompousity, this bk occupies a glowing place in my pantheon of rebelliousness. It's far from my favorite Jarry - as I'll probably explain elsewhere multiple times - but it's still monumental: a monument to taking the gas out of the inflations of power. Read this & deSade's "120 Days of Sodom" & a few other things & throw any positive illusions about how the powerful act down the toilet. ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
These puppet plays were so damn funny that I still pull out the book every once in a while to torture my friends and family. Of course, I have to perform them. Perhaps my little girl will also join in the fun in a few years. Very dark humor, of course, but I don't think it would be much of a stretch to have them made by an Anime company in Japan. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
"Merdre!" (in translation: "Pschitt!")
The very first word uttered by Pa Ubu proved to be a bit too much for the sensibility of its audience and led to a riot. The incident has since then become one of the most talked about bits of Jarry's life.

The audience may not have taken their time to get to know Pa Ubu before passing their judgement, their reaction to him was rather appropriate. Pa Ubu is monstrous and grotesque. A crappy character - literally and metaphorically. His physical form is one horrible amalgamation. His conscience lies cramped in a suitcase, covered in cobwebs (and is later shoved headfirst into a toilet). From Wikipedia:
The central character is notorious for his infantile engagement with his world. Ubu inhabits a domain of greedy self-gratification. Jarry's metaphor for the modern man, he is an antihero—fat, ugly, vulgar, gluttonous, grandiose, dishonest, stupid, jejune, voracious, cruel, cowardly and evil....
Pa Ubu is a caricature that not only embodies all kinds of human vices, but follows them to the extreme - to the point of being utterly ridiculous. Jarry intended for him to be the perfect anarchist and Pa Ubu plays that role perfectly well. If Ignatius J. Reilly was too disgusting for your appetite, you may want to stay miles away from Pa Ubu.

The character of Pa Ubu was born in the minds of a few 15 year olds ridiculing one of their teachers. While Jarry's friends left their teenage jokes behind, Jarry went on to transform this character into one of the forerunners of absurd/surrealist theater. In addition, Jarry's creativity with language has also contributed a few new expletives to the French language. Pa Ubu from a drawing by Alfred Jarry:


While Pa Ubu enjoys more popularity, Ma Ubu is just as depraved. She often instigates Pa Ubu into acts of greed and mindless violence. Emerging every now and then to take potshots at Pa Ubu, her character does leave a mark.

The first play, Ubu Roi demonstrates greed and absolute abuse of authority at the hands of Pa Ubu. In the third play, Ubu Enchained, science of pataphysics comes into play and spins the concepts of freedom and slavery on their heads. The plays are absurd and can easily be waved off as juvenile farce. To understand what Jarry meant to showcase through these, it helps to read around the plays a little bit. The plays certainly are good for multiple laughs.

(3.5 stars.)

Bonus link

Ubuweb - a place for all things avant-garde and obscure.

( )
1 vote HearTheWindSing | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alfred Jarryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arnaud, NoëlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ernst, MaxCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grivel, CharlesContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saillet, MauriceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

The NHB Drama Classics series presents the world's greatest plays in affordable, highly readable editions for students, actors and theatregoers. The hallmarks of the series are accessible introductions (focussing on the play's theatrical and historical background, together with an author biography, key dates and suggestions for further reading) and the complete text, uncluttered with footnotes. The translations, by leading experts in the field, are accurate and above all actable. The editions of English-language plays include a glossary of unusual words and phrases to aid understanding. This Drama Classics edition of Ubu contains three plays following the adventures of Pa and Ma Ubu in their absurd world: King Ubu, Cuckold Ubu and Slave Ubu. It is translated and introduced by Kenneth McLeish, the most widely respected and prolific translator of drama in Britain.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.85)
0.5
1
1.5
2 4
2.5 3
3 13
3.5 3
4 20
4.5 3
5 16

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 208,914,479 books! | Top bar: Always visible