A subject that playwright Alfred Jarry named, and Paul McCartney refers to in the Beatles song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." Jarry says: "Pataphysics, whose etymological spelling should be "EPI" and actual orthography 'pataphysics, preceded by an apostrophe so as to avoid a simple pun, is the science of that which is superinduced upon metaphysics, whether within or beyond the latter's limitations, extending as far beyond metaphysics as the latter extends beyond physics."

The "simple pun" to be avoided is this:

patte à physique

I.e. to pat on the belly, as Pa Ubu would in Jarry's most memorable play , Ubu Roi. Jarry was really big on puns. He regularly called a train "that which drags" (traine), for instance.

'Pataphysics is devoted to the epiphenonmenon, or that which is superimposed on the phenomenon, usually by accident. It can be used to study such collosal exceptions as Divinity, mathematically understood in the last chapter of The Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician to be, quote, THE TANGENTIAL POINT BETWEEN ZERO AND INFINITY.

In resolving the contradiction between rules and their exceptions, pataphysics bore an indelible imprint on later artistic movements dedicated towards eradicating binary, mutally exclusive relationships. For instance, Dadaist Marcel Duchamp once signed a letter "Pataphysically Yours", and André Breton hailed Jarry as "Surrealist in absinthe."

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