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Even his first novel, Les Jours et les nuits, roman d'un deserteur (Days and Nights, a Deserter's novel, May 1897), based on his twelve unhappy months in the army, eludes c1assification despite its autobiographical nature. Ubu was to remain an obsession to the end of his life. In October 1897 the Mercure published an autograph edition of the play, with the music of Claude Terrasse. The end of the year was taken up with the creation of a puppet theatre in Terrasse's studio, known as the Tbeatre des Pantins, built by its chief manipulator, Alfred Jarry.

Appeared in L' Echo de Paris, a weekly literary magazine, and in April he won a 21 Alfred Jarry and Guillaume Apollinaire prize with a piece entitled 'Guignol' ('Punch'), in wh ich Ubu was revealed for the first time: a gross, vulgar, murderous character. These texts, with other writings of that period, were to be published by the Mercure de France under the untranslatable title of Les Minutes de Sable Memorial (1894) . For Jarry, the Mercure was more than a publishinghouse. Its director, Alfred Vallette, and his wife, the novelist Rachilde, welcomed the budding author into their horne and cared for hirn with devotion and generosity.

The time is equally vague. The text of the play gives no 45 Alfred Jarry and Guillaume Apollinaire clue to any period in any country's history. When describing the costumes, Jarry remarks that 'they should preferably be modern, since the satire is modern and shabby, because the play will seem even more wretched and horrifying' . Dramatic Conventions Ever since Aristotie, continental theorists and dramatists have insisted on a set of rules, rules that have changed and evolved but which have always aimed for an ideal of clarity, especially as regards time and place.

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