Jarry’s first magazine, L’Ymagier (1894-96), which he coedited with Remy de Gourmont, reversed the traditional separation of disparate forms, genres, and artistic periods. As a kind of radical museum in print, the magazine not only proposed equivalence across modern history and high and low culture but also questioned the distinction between original and copy. Gourmont and Jarry each contributed a few prints of their own usually under pseudonyms. Most of their contributions, however, were essays and commentaries on visual iconography over time. The chimerical, time-bending aesthetic of the magazine conformed to Jarry’s inverted definition of beauty in the second issue, which defined the monstrous as “all original, inexhaustible beauty.”

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907) and Remy de Gourmont (1858–1915), eds., L’Ymagier no. 2 (1895). The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman, 2017. PML 197080.