Monday, May 6, 2013

"it was Jarry's idea to substitute the map for the territory"

"Pataphysics would indeed assume subtly different meanings.  Initially, however, in his first conception, it may be seen as an unusually systematic mapping of the realm of poetic imagination, a symbolic cartography that was both representation and idealization.  It included previously neglected regions that were ripe for exploration, and it was Jarry's idea to substitute the map for the territory."

-from Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life by Alastair Brotchie


Yesterday's wander through the east end was very rewarding, not least because I found this book.  And I found this book in a wonderful bookstore, bookartbookshop.  

Jarry has always been there in the background (the Jarry metro in Montreal is a different Jarry, I think), behind Surrealism and Situationism and Psychogeograpy, at the least the parts I liked about them.

What Alastair Brotchie has done in this book has helped me see precisely the role of this 'peasant' from the provinces in systematizing and spatializing poetic practices and processes.  

What sprung from that seed in the ensuing century was a set of tools for exploring landscape, urbanity and humanity in ways that elude dualism and reductionist positivism.

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