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pataphysics

(iconosphere entry) See also, below: {Web links} (and other docs of interest) {Samuel Butler's Chicken quote} {Links} Refer also to: -[The Robot 'z]- (a pataphysical description of that which thinks, feels, and moves poorly) -[Alfred Jarry]- (PDE theatre entry) pataphysics was first illuminated by Alfred Jarry in his several works, including a live performance called "merede" (French: shit). Needless to say this first lecture on the subject was not well received. To state the case quickly and efficiently: Pataphysics is to metaphysics as metaphysics is to physics. With this rather blunt definition as a tool, one hardly wonders that any progress has been made in pataphysics since the un-timely death of Jarry. (It is interesting and important to note that despite is vast consumption of questionable forms of ethanol, he did *not* die of liver or kidney toxcity, but rather from malnurishment due to an un-caring world). NOTE: That much of your present narrators knowledge of pataphysics, as well as much of the information in this article is based on the work of two of the world's leading experts (but non-leaders -- for reasons un-likely to become clear in this article) on pataphysics: Nigey Lennon (Ms. Lennon is the author of a popular press (but un-likely to become a popular best seller, for while it DOES contain references to sex, nudity, and the consumption of sweets, it has no references to modern-day satanic cults, multi-national terrorist organisations bent on the destruction of civilisation as we know it (read that as "our God-given way of life"), nor even the SLIGHTEST reference to self-volumising content). Regardless the name of her work is "The Man with the Axe", although it is called "a trade paperback book", and is entitled "Alfred Jarry: The Man with the Axe" -- apparently it not being enough to name the work "The Man with the Axe" without resorting to the tedious habbit of repetition in the title. and Bill Griffith, cartoonist and illustrator (best known for his "Zippy the PinHead" cartoons -- apparently in some small respct an attempt at autobiography). Mr. Griffin (as his name is often mis-spelled) is best know for his work involing the popular expoisition of Sgt. Bilko (aka "Phil Silvers") as well as Tuesday Weld. That Pataphysics is well and treuly a proper area of study for the present work is given by one example from [Lennon; P. 81] For instance, in one of his [Jarry's] essays he examined the subject of postage stamps and mail delivery from a droll, pseudo-anthropological standpoint, theorizing [sic] that stamps must be objects of reverence since we kiss them on the back and then, with blind faith, trust them to somehow ensure the safe delivery of our letters to their destinations. It is this deliberately off-center [sic] way of viewing the mundane that defines Jarry's genius as a writer. Indeed, we can see that this is JUST the sort of il-logical, out-of-the-box thinking that we need to make creative break throughs. I would go so far, that by applying even the easiest and most accessible precepts of 'pataphysics, we can easily see things like the following: Penguins do not make either good screwdrivers or doorstops. (As it is well known that they have neither any experience in mixed drinks -- other than krill milkshakes, and that they travel. But, it can clearly be seen that they would make excellent braking mechanisms for trans-sonic jet planes as it is well known that they do NOT fly and thus, the plane must necessarily stop. The last assertion follows directly from a some-what lengthy application of pataphysics (in the form of an ointment similar to Doc Stephen Leacock's "Emolliant Ebterfuge") to the refutation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity by Ernst Mach (of Mach Plane Theory) -- which will play prominantly in our discussions. This last has led many absurdists to conclude that the study of pataphysics can only lead to a slightly lessening of the absurdity of the world, and while many other absurditsts hold out hope that such stuides may one day reduce the one great of absurdity of life to at least something a bit more manageable on the random Sunday afternoon, when the power has gone off, and all of the beautiful people have to leave the party early. Further investigations into pataphysics, has led many artists to several conclusions: Visual Artists often maintain: Jarry was a closet dadaist and afraid to expose his true nature for fear of the same fate that befell people such as Oscar Wilde, Juan Lorca, and Gandhi. Unfortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon the distinguishing mark ') the world had a more sinister fate laying in wait for Jarry: Indifference. Philosophical, Theological, and Spritiaul Artists often maintain: It has been shown by elementary [Bistro Maths] that that the deconstruction of pataphysics (using the rule of ) ) is able to reduce pataphysics to a self-referential paradox on par with the proof of the non-existence of God. However, many linguistics scholars doubt the validity of the so-called "truth" of such a ). Especially, on a Thursday. Danse and Music artists often maintain: Even though you can't "really" danse to the tune of pataphysics, it IS a catchy tune and would make for enteresting arrangements, variations, and choreography. [See, [LENNON, P. 65]] Historical Artists often maintain Since pataphysics by its very nature depends upon its own post-existence (and hence upon its own pre-existance), it can be shown (from a historical POV (point of view)) to be concistent with Hegel's view of the equation: Thesis + Anti-thesis --> Synthesis When confronted by -[Goedel's paradox]-. -6_- That is: Any sufficiently complex system will contain: Statements which are true (and can be shown to be such). Statements which are false (and can be shown to be such). Statements which either are true and false (and can be shown to defintiely one or the other), but can not be proved which is the case. Statements which are meaningless. Statements which are neither true nor false, but "imaginary". (This last bit by the work of G. Spenser Brown in his work -["The Laws of Form"]-). Thus, concluding: "Pataphysics, nothing new here". While others (most notably Scientists, Futurists, and other serious working philosophers) maintain: What a load of horse hockey! (and thence promptly return to writing arcane proposals for grants which are inevitably funded much more readily and lucratively than the rest of the above researchers' works. Regardless, one should view pataphysics as a very early form of [absurdism] [Lennon maintains that it is THE prototype (and earliest form) of absudism; 1902 or so); LocCit, P. 61 &ff].

Is 'Pataphysics paraphysics?

This essay was originally posted as a blog in 1/4 past Janurary 2007; ie, approx JanMarch, 2007. It is best read while listening the the 4th movement of John Cage's "Suite for Toy Piano" (orchestrated version) played in continuuous/infinite loop mode) First essay on pataphysics -- new for 2007 (mirabile annu - the miraculous year - i hope) Current mood: calm Category: Art and Photography

What is Pataphysics?

There has been much written about the subject of pataphysics, (trying to capture the nature of this often ellusive subject) -- as well as much not writtent *directly* about it, but often by its very nature refering to it. The purpose of this brief paper is to illuminate various aspects of pataphysics. One of the earliest documenters is of course Alfred Jarry, who took it upon himself to formalise many of the tennets of pataphysics that had been floating around for some time, but had not been collected in anything resembling a coherent body of knowledge. Part of the problem involves the very nature of pataphysics which has been commented upon by Jacques Derrida as involving the self-referential paradox as well as other impediments to understanding. So, let us proceed - "nose in hand" as it were. The first problem occurs in the spelling of pataphysics in various languages. Unfortunately, most scholars as well as many practicisoneurs of pataphysics suffer from the fact that (as literary agents) they have not had time to master more than one language -- other than ancient Latin, Sanskrit or some other auxilliary language. In keeping with Mark Twain's assertion (to Mormons) that "no man may serve two masters", we find that most literarily skilled writers devote their entire lives to their "mother tongue". Thus, rare are poets that are skilled in more than one langauge. Thus, while much of our knowledge of pataphysics owes much to the extensive works of the French writer and philosopher Alfred Jarry, it suffers from the language of French. Indeed the modern spelling of the word of 'pataphysics ['sic] itself is in question: According to the on-line (free) encylopaedia, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E2%80%99Pataphysics" target="_blank">"Wiki"] Jarry mandated the inclusion of the apostrophe in the orthography "to avoid a simple pun," the pun possibly being patte physique (leg of physics), as interpreted by Jarry scholars Keith Beaumont and Roger Shattuck, or possibly pas ta physique (not your physics), or maybe "Pte physique" (physics dough). That such problems occur in a demonstrably poetic language such as French brings to the fore a very direct problem in dealing with pataphysics as such. I shall try to contact my friend and scholar Dr. Lee for her views on the problems of translation in/from/of Korean. Regardless of these meta-problems, we must try to proceed to detail the aspects of pataphysics - for such is much of the need for more information. Indeed, even wiki is scant to have much of any use other than historical exposition [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Pataphysics" target="_blank">here]

Well, then, 'Pataphysics is...

One of Jarry's contributions to pataphysics was to state that "pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions". In saying this, he was not refering to imainary chemical solutions, but in a way of thinking "outside the box" -- i am of course speaking for myself, and gladly welcome all comments, criticisms, ideas, links, and other essays on the subject; via blogmail on this site. To go beyond Jarry's (often like Derrida's) playfull approach to defining the un-definable, we would approach this via a more usefull expression by Jarry that "pataphysics is to metaphysics, as metaphysics is to physics" -- not an exact quote, although this may be due to Ionessco rather than Jarry. That is, pataphysics attempts to delve even deeper into the nature of things than does either metaphysics or physics physics. Since the turn of the 1800c/1900c physics has become the "fair haired lad" of science and indeed human understanding. This due mostly to its outrageous successes. To review briefly, once Democritis' "atomic theory" was put on a firm experimental basis and Einsein's "relativity theory" was put into practice in the most horrible of ways, there has been no stopping physics. Of course, physics has had to pay the price for success and has at last run out of steam (metaphorically speaking), now contenting itself to answer such philosophical musings such as "The nature of everything", "The origin of the universe", as well as that elusive philosopher's stone that even Einstein was unable to make much progress on: The Unified Field Equation. Compare this to the philosopher/author Douglas Noel Adams' tongue-in-cheek (and therefore absurdist/serious) idea that THE answer to "the great question of life, the universe, and everything" is given simply (and some-what absurdly) by the ANSWER of "42". Thus, while many subjects attempt to big note themselves by attaching their name to physics (eg, biophysics, psychophyics, etc - excluding the study of astral phenomenon encompassed by paraphysics which is as valid an extension of physics as are metaphysics and pataphysics), pataphysics humbly approaches the way of understanding, quite literally "picking up the pieces" left behind in the battle to push back the curtains of ignornance. Thus, physics refuses to deal with ANY areas of paraphysics (the sciences/philosophies of the occult, extra-sensory perceptions (ESP's), etc). And physics and religion both (having sorted out the "boundaries of their respective territories" - in much the same way that gangs demark their areas of domination), refuse to deal with matters of metaphysics (the sciences/philosophies of the usual triadic exposition resulting from the interplay of Epistimology, Ontology, and Phenomenology). This concept of "divy-ing up the territory" is an important one to consider, briefly. Following the renaissance and the advent of "modernism", there are "the big three" areas of human endeavour: Physics, Religion and Government. The practice of these areas borders on the totalitarian much of the time - having staked out their claim as to how to deal with the "universe of discourse" (to use Einstein's term for the world that we see (or not) around us). From their point of view, they've got it made. Physics deals with all physical phenomenon (or at least its study) and lords it over the lessor sciences such as chemistry, biology, and geology -- totally ignoring for the most part the so-called "soft sciences"; eg, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, etc. Religion deals with the concept of fear: Fear of death, fear of a vengefull (male) god, and when needed fear of the boogey man (again a MALE god: the devil). Government (backed by the technology that physics provides and the social control that religion supplies) holds court over all the rest. Thus, this triumverit pervades the totality and essence of all human experience -- indeed, all three preclude any consideration of non-human (ie, non-anthropomorphic) existance or indeed existence. And of course ALL THREE ignore entirely the aesthetics (eg, art, music, theatre, danse, etc) -- unless they need a catchy jingle or a stunning visual effect. Thus, while the rather romantic idea of "organised crime" (eg, the Sopranos) might fill the popular imagination, the real *threat* to free thinking and human progress is by: Organised physics (read this as technology without compassion), organised religion (read this as philosophy without tollerance), and organised governement (read this as hegononmy without diversity). See also: -[Diversity is wher you look for it.]- (M/S Power Point slide show) It is interesting to note that while physicists, religionists, and governmentists disdain the areas of philosophy, paraphysics, metaphysics, and pataphysics - the practicioners in these areas have little argument with each other, and more often than not have arguments with the big three and their cavalier attitude to the consequences of arrogant action. -- well, there's a start anyway, Frank ******** Other thoughs added later It is very odd the bit about evolution and how it sets certain religous types "off". (As i mentioned one time, there was a very hoopy Christian priest on TV who sed that he had no problem with evolution, saying that it was simply how God created the unvierse. -- very rare such open-minded froodz as that who sass where it's all at!) Regardless, it's VERY odd when we think of physicists as the ULTIMATE scientist type to find so many of them don't believe in evolution and still refuse to say that we can ever know WHY -- as though this "god person" (almost always the HE in the Big-Three's cosmogoy; ie, Judaism, Christianity, Islam) has some real reason for keeping us in the dark about the why-ness of things. None-the-less, as i often put it: "It's possible that even god herself evovles" -- always rattles someone's cage that remark does. But, mean while Cage's concerto for toy piano didn't feel the void, but rather fed it (on a Tuesday of course). --42-- And post finally: Remember as Jarry himeself noted: A steady diet of 'pataphysics (no matter how intellectually filling) will NOT feed the belly well -- even on a Tuesday! References: See "Theatre of the Absurd" under -[I've been here an hour, and STILL no Godot!]-

Butler's Chicken

This was remembered by a process, which was inspired by the AU Institute of Pataphysical Research
"A chicken is an egg's way of making another egg." -- Samuel Butler http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.html Reference data required for 'pataphysical completeness: <The Iliad By Homer Written 800 B.C.E Translated by Samuel Butler > -[here]-

Web links

-[
wiki pedia entry]- -['pataphysics Research Library]- -[Jarry: The Passion Consdered as an Uphill Bicycle Race]- -[Van Dyke's attempt to un-ravel the chronology tangle.]- -[AU: The Institute of Pataphysical Studies (pataphysica)]- -[]- -[]- -[]- -[]- -[]-

Links

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www: dabble.com]- (good jump page)