'Pataphysics, the pseudoscience imagined by Alfred Jarry, has so far, because of its academic frivolity and hermetic perversity, attracted very little scholarly or critical inquiry, and yet it has inspired a century of experimentation. Tracing the place of 'pataphysics in the relationship between science and poetry, Christian Bök shows it is fundamental to the nature of the postmodern, and considers the work of Alfred Jarry and its influence on others.
A long overdue critical look at a significant strain of the twentieth-century avant-garde, 'Pataphysics: The Poetics of Imaginary Science raises important historical, cultural, and theoretical issues germane to the production and reception of poetry, the ways we think about, write, and read it, and the sorts of claims it makes upon our understanding.
CHRISTIAN BÖK is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellow affiliated with the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo. Bök is the author of Crystallography: Book I of Information Theory, a nominee for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award given for best poetic debut. He has published numerous articles on Canadian avant-garde poetry in Open Letter, Canadian Literature, and Studies in Canadian Literature, and his own experimental poetry has been frequently anthologized, appearing most recently in Imagining Language.
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