Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inherently indefinite …

… pataphysics: a useless guide by andrew hugill - bookforum.com / daily review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Jarry's disproportionate sway over the cultural vanguards of the first half of the twentieth century was largely due to his promulgation—through plays, novels, essays, and speculations—of 'pataphysics, "the science of imaginary solutions." Known to adherents as "the science," 'pataphysics is a system in which there are no rules, only exceptions (or, more properly, where each exception creates its own rule), and where everything is equivalent—nothing is more important than anything else. It extends beyond metaphysics to the degree that metaphysics extends beyond physics, and relies on the acceptance of the simultaneous existence of mutually exclusive opposites, a positive (though not positivist) version of Orwell's doublethink in 1984 that is also reminiscent of the flummoxing paradoxes of Zen.


  1. Jeez, I am a pataphysician. I have such massive trouble fitting art into conventionally acceptable definitions. I go with what looks good to me.

  2. I suspect I may be as well.