Wednesday, February 01, 2023

2 gueles 150 E.P.

The writer and publisher Alastair Brotchie has died, according to social media announcements by the Atlas Press, of which he was the proprietor, and the London Institute of Pataphysics, of which he was a guiding spirit and "Secretary of Issuance." The date of his "disappearance" is given, according to the Pataphysical calendar, in the title of this post; according to the Gregorian calendar it was on January 27th of this year.

Brotchie's biography of Alfred Jarry has been near the top of my list of books to read for several years, but I've never quite gotten around to it, in part because our local library system doesn't own a copy. I do have a copy of the Oulipo Compendium he edited with Harry Mathews.

Pataphysics, founded by Jarry, has been defined as "the science of imaginary solutions," and you may make of that what you will. Shortly before the pandemic broke out I took a trip into Manhattan, in part to see the outstanding exhibition at the Morgan Library devoted to Jarry. One can only wonder what he would have made of such a venue for his work, but I like to think he would have been amused. I haven't been back to the city since.

My condolences to Brotchie's family and friends.

Update: The Guardian now has an obituary of Brotchie written by his friend Peter Blegvad.

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