Ubu the King

After the Second World War, Jarry’s identification as a provocateur and an icon of free expression made him a touchstone for burgeoning countercultural movements. Underground magazines such as Free Unions, Evergreen Review, and Gnaoua featured translations of his work as a bridge spanning late Surrealism, the Theatre of the Absurd, and experimental literature of the 1950s and 1960s. The Living Theatre, founded in New York by Judith Malina and Julien Beck, used one of Jarry’s drawings of Ubu on a program when staging his drama in tandem with a play by the avant-garde poet, John Ashbery.

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), Ubu the King [and] John Ashbery (1927–2017), The Heroes (New York: [The Living Theatre], [1952]). The Morgan Library & Museum, purchased for the Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman Pataphysics Collection on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2018. PML 197920.