Wonderful set of cards made by Edition del Solleoni for Vito Arienti with striking designs, some of them pretty risqué, that are said in an insert card to have been inspired by “Pataphysics.”
For those unfamiliar with the term, “pataphysics” is an absurdist “philosophy” that can be traced to French writer Alfred Jarry. The deck has an insert card that contains a quote from a letter of Paul Valery on the subject, and Wikipedia has this to say:
“’Pataphysics’ (French: 'pataphysique) is an absurdist, pseudo-scientific literary trope invented by French writer Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), that enigmatically resists being pinned down by a simple definition. One attempt at a definition might be to say that ‘pataphysics is a branch of philosophy or science that examines imaginary phenomena that exist in a world beyond metaphysics; it is the science of imaginary solutions. It is a concept expressed by Jarry in a mock-scientific manner with undertones of spoofing and quackery, in his fictional book Exploits & Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician, in which Jarry riddles and toys with conventional concepts and interpretations of reality. Another attempt at a definition interprets pataphysics as an idea that ‘the virtual or imaginary nature of things as glimpsed by the heightened vision of poetry or science or love can be seized and lived as real.’ Jarry defines 'pataphysics’ in a number of statements and examples, including that it is ‘the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments.’”
Whatever this means, these cards are great fun. The deck has 52 suited cards, plus 6 – yes, 6!! – Jokers, plus2 extra cards, one of which contains the Valery quote noted above, and one of which introduces the deck. The cards are small, measuring 82mm x 57mm, and come in the original box. The cards are wrapped in a piece of plastic before going in the box.
The cards and box are “as new.”