Almanach du Père Ubu illustré

Ubu returned to print for Jarry’s reinvention of a centuries-old genre: the common almanac. Both the author and the illustrator, Pierre Bonnard, were uncredited. Jarry applied his own approach to illustration when composing the texts by assembling original material with passages appropriated from old books. There were new playlets as well as sixteenth-century recipes for dyeing one’s hair green (supposedly something Jarry himself did on one occasion). The religious calendars—a requisite of early almanacs—listed the feast dates celebrating genuine saints as well as Saint Merdre. Another requisite of the genre, astronomical forecasts, predicted a partial “eclipse of Père Ubu.”

Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), Almanach du Père Ubu illustré. Illustrations by Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947) (Paris: s.n., [1898]). The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman, 2017. PML 197025.