Le Surmâle: Roman Moderne
Paris: Éditions de la Revue Blanche, . First Edition. Small octavo (18.5cm); original white printed wrappers; ,248,pp.; illus. on title page verso printed in orange. Spine toned and a bit rubbed with lettering of top half partially effaced; additional toning to extremities, upper wrapper joint quite fragile and starting to separate, else a Near Very Good, tight copy.
Jarry's last major publication, and, along with its companion novel Messaline (1901), his most accessible. However, while Messaline is set in ancient Rome, this "roman moderne" is set nearly twenties years in the future, in 1920. Nevertheless, Le Surmâle is considered to be more of a realist society novel than science fiction or "anticipatory" fiction, with a five-man cycling race thrown in. Novel also known for the comparison of alcohol to a superfood, a reflection of the author's inclination towards white wine at breakfast and embibing absinthe like a sportsdrink during his 80-mile bike rides. (See Alastair Brotchie, Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life, pp. 285-7).