The pataphysique collection, compiled by Juan Esteban Fassio (1924-1980), offers a rich resource for the understanding of
this movement and its ramifications outside of France. It features a wealth of correspondence with the most active members
of the Collège de Pataphysique, research files, as well as a collection of rare ephemera and publications.
"Pataphysique" (or, in English, "pataphysics") is a term coined around 1889 by a group of high school students in Rennes,
and later appropriated by one of them, writer Alfred Jarry (1873-1907). Although deliberately obscure and absurd, the term
was supposed to designate a science beyond, and on top of, metaphysics. Pataphysics has been variously described as the science
of the detail and of the individual, as well as of imaginary solutions. It is devoted to the total acceptance and celebration
of paradoxes and nonsense in every aspect of human life, and is based on the principles of universal equivalence (according
to which, everything is the same) and of inversion of the contraries. Ultimately, pataphysique is not describable, as it constitutes
a strenuous form of resistance towards any kind of systematization, and any attempt to make sense of the universe.