CFP: Pataphysica 4: Black Arts (9/8/06; journal issue)

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Pataphysica 4, “Pataphysica e Alchimia 2,” will follow in the
footsteps of Pataphysica 2, “Pataphysica e Alchimia,” in
presenting Part 2 of Alfred Jarry’s final, unfinished novel The
She-Dragon (1907), again in the form of an annotated literal
translation highlighting Jarry’s use of alchemical and
mythological symbolism. It will again be edited and introduced
by Dr. Faustroll, and submissions should be sent for
consideration to “Juno,” as everyone
knows, is the Roman counterpart to the Greek Hera, who
represented the Earth in the same way that her husband Zeus
stood for the sky, suggesting that this e-mail address is a way
of contacting “Faustroll on Earth.”

Alchemy is sometimes considered one of the “Black Arts,”
although its more responsible practitioners would surely reject
this categorization. In such essays as “The Dead Hand,”
published in the 28 June-4 July 1903 issue of Le Canard sauvage
(“The Wild Duck”; O.C. 2:472), which addresses the art of
cheiromancy or palmistry, and which was written while he was
working on The She-Dragon, Jarry suggests “correspondences”
between the so-called “Black Arts” and other no less “divine”
forms of divination in the esoteric Tradition. He sometimes
alludes to the use of the “magic circle” in such practices, as
in his “third-dimensional conjuration” from the seventh of the
twenty-seven “paired books” of Dr. Faustroll’s mytho-hermetic
voyage to the seven planetary “islands” in Exploits and Opinions
of Dr. Faustroll, pataphysician (1898; 1911), where he notes
Marceline Desbordes-Valmore’s description of a woodcutter
placing a “wild duck” from his game bag within a circle of
sleeping runaway children. Here Jarry’s mention of his
semi-autobiographical hero Erbrand Sacqueville’s “Ibsenism” near
the end of Part 1, Chapter 5 of The She-Dragon (Pataphysica 2,
p.23), should not be overlooked; Ibsen’s 1884 play The Wild Duck
is bathed in the light of “the green candle.”
Potential contributors to Pataphysica 4 are encouraged to send
papers on any and all aspects of the “Black Arts,” including
(and perhaps especially) alchemy; but as always, any pertinent
pataphysical papers or works will be given full consideration.
The deadline for submissions is the Feast of the Nativity of the
Blessed Virgin, 8 September 2006, the 133rd anniversary of
Jarry’s birth.

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Received on Tue Jan 24 2006 - 18:17:51 EST

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