This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume which is about the livres pairs, a list of books contained in French author Alfred Jarry's novel Gestes et Opinions du docteur Faustroll, pataphysicien. This volume evaluates the importance of each book to Jarry and examines aspects of the state of symbolist literature around the time of Faustroll. It also mentions that while some works and authors included in livres pairs remain very well known, others are obscure to most modern readers, including Léon Bloy, Georges Darien, and Max Elskamp.
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