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The Supermale Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

The Supermale + Exploits and Opinions of Dr Faustroll Pataphysician + The Ubu Plays: Includes: Ubu Rex; Ubu Cuckolded; Ubu Enchained
Price for all three: $35.88

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Exact Change (September 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878972251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878972255
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dan Mohr on September 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
One often takes French proto-surrealist literature with a grain (or spoonful) of salt, perhaps due to the hollow stigma which Breton and others rendered the word 'surrealism.' This novel by the maniac Jarry was a helpful reminder that he and Apollinaire and a few others were really getting at something compelling. Jarry's Supermale is an hyperbolic monster of masculinity, riding 10000 miles on a bicycle at the speed of a locomotive to proclaim his desire for a certain woman, with which woman he proceeds, in order to prove a point, to copulate a total of 82 times in 24 hours. However, Andre Marceuil is clearly a self-portrait; descriptions of him read uncannily closely to Jarry's own physiognomy. Marceuil is a man intent on living his art, without pretentions or assistance. The sex that occupies the latter 40 pages of this rather short novel (80 pages total) is surprisingly sensitive and crazy, especially during a launch into a poetic hymn to Helen of Troy. Altogether a touching and inspirational nugget of strange virtuosity. Read it and regain your faith in the true surrealism. (if you have lost it.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Twisted Knickers on December 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Our protagonist Andre Marcueil had grand ideas...so grand that his "Everyday ordinariness became extraordinary."

Andre firmly believes that human capacity has no limits. He believed it so fervently that he would risk his life in a ten-thousand mile race with a steam locomotive at speeds greater than 300 miles per hour with no rest and no sustenance, save the cubes of perpetual motion food, then to copulate with the same woman 82 times in twenty-four hours, and to recharge an electric chair designed to produce love.

Braggadocio? Maybe, or maybe his futuristic ideas held something of substance, something an ordinary mind could not possibly grasp hold of. Andrew Marcueil - Hercules, Frankenstein, or Supermale?

The fusion of man and machine is not that uncommon a theme, but Jarry takes our protagonist one step further into the surreal, envisioning a better human race, where the age old philosophies of man are not only limited but are pointless idiocies. The self-inflicted trials and tribulations our protagonist endures in this story are beyond reason and ultimately absurd. But for all the absurdity, it is the story of a man's search for himself - a better self. 1920, a time of great change in the world, the dawn of the modern age, Jarry brings into question how humans can take the manifestations of their minds and thrust them into reality, and yet, with all the trinkets and machines our genius minds invent, none of them seem to better us as people.

Above all, discretely woven into this tale is a love story, a heart wrenching sad love story. And what of love? Could someone as cruel and heartless as our protagonist actually love? Love being something beyond infinite and ungraspable - a shadow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LitCritChick1 on October 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so grateful to finally find Alfred Jarry's last novel "The Supermale" back in print in English! Less famous than his just-as-obnoxious and just-as-hilarious dramatic work UBO ROI, this phallic obsessed dark little tale is chock full of obscenities, mechanized eroticism, and touches of compassion for a world sorely lacking in true love.
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By J.S.M. on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
I really like Alfred Jarry. That said, I think that while "The Supermale" is a decent book, it isn't exactly a masterpiece, and that if you're just getting into Jarry's world there are probably better books to spend your money on....although right now it's discounted pretty heavily here.

"The Supermale" is fun, but despite being by Jarry it's actually much more conventional in the ideas and devices (pun intended) used than, say, in Dr. Faustroll or in the Ubu Plays. It's also more of a novella, with two or three main scenes, albeit long ones, rather than an actual novel.
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