The Supermale

Alfred Jarry (1873-1907) was the original transgressive author; the first word of his famous play Ubu Roi — "Shittr!" — changed the course of art and drama forever. Jarry’s novels are equally outrageous, and the best of them are now again available in English. Where Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician is philosophical, The Supermale is carnal. André Marcueil, gentleman and scientist, has the ability to make love an infinite number of times in succession. Like a mock Jules Verne, Jarry describes the manner in which this Supermale proves his claim; after 82 times with a woman, attending doctors finally hook him up to a machine instead, with whom he merges in the book’s — and the Supermale’s — final climax. Barbara Wright’s excellent translation, first published by New Directions, has been long out of print.

"Black humor, wild obscenity, delicate lyricism, mechanized eroticism, pure love, gay blasphemy, and the calm of the infinite…" — The Observer (London)

"With Alfred Jarry… we have seen laughter rise from the lower regions where it was writhing, to furnish the poet with a totally new lyricism." — Guillaume Apollinaire