Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-iv

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xvi

read more

A Note on the Texts and Translations Used

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xvii-19

A small fraction of Artaud’s writing is available to the English-language reader. Only four volumes of the twenty-six-volume Oeuvres complètes have been translated into the English Collected Works...

read more

Introduction : The Uses and Abuses of Antonin Artaud

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-28

An apocalyptic sensibility drives the writing of Antonin Artaud, infuriated and propelled by a sense of the world’s utter and unimaginable wrongness. Artaud’s works, expressing exhilaration in brutality and seeking peace in annihilation...

Section I : The Fight against Civilization; or, The Rebirth of Tragedy

read more

Chapter 1 : Invocation of the Plague

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 31-49

Horrific new life spreads rapidly over its progenitor in the form of a million poisonous creatures. A ruptured sexual organ lights up the world, “flash[ing] like the sun,” after which a brothel keeper flees and a virgin rises from the dead...

read more

Chapter 2 : Reactionary Modern

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 50-72

In the long history of alternatives to rationality, Artaud’s writing occupies a critical place. A vein of irrationalist and vitalist thought that had flowed through late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe found a ferocious and climactic articulation after World War I...

Section II : Audience, Mass, Crowd

read more

Chapter 3 : The Avant-Garde and the Audience

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 75-95

A theater audience, as it appeared in Paris by the time Artaud arrived in 1921, assumed the general form of an obedient group of spectators sitting silently in a darkened auditorium. The dynamic, noisy, and engaged audiences of centuries’ worth of theatrical performances had metamorphosed...

read more

Chapter 4 : Theaters for the Masses

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 96-115

Artaud conceived of his theatrical project in the aftermath of World War I, when feelings of alienation and a deep yearning to belong to something larger than the self organized the social and aesthetic dimensions of much of European mass culture. The change in the relationship between the individual and the community was heralded as both alienating and empowering...

read more

Chapter 5 : Crowds and Cruelty

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 116-132

Stephen Koch argued persuasively in 1966 that Artaud’s theater is non-dialogic, that it proposes a one-way communication between the controller of the event and its participants. As opposed to Jarry’s theater, which launched its assault with the goal of engaging the audience member’s own capacity for action...

read more

Chapter 6 : The Artist of the Theater

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 133-158

“In my view,” Artaud writes, “no one has the right to call himself author, that is to say creator, except the person who controls the direct handling of the stage” (TD, 117). “Director”—or metteur en scène—is the primary theatrical term in which we should think of Artaud...

read more

Chapter 7 : Controlling Forces

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-188

Michel Foucault invokes Artaud in Madness and Civilization as a visionary artist whose “courage” in the face of his “ordeal,” as Foucault frames it, represents a personal and poetic protest against the absence of a coherent reality and the inability to create. Coming as it does near the end of his study of the institutionalization of the insane

read more

Conclusion : Longing for Nothingness

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-200

If World War I had shattered many Europeans’ belief in the promise of their civilization, Artaud responded by continuing to attack those beliefs, as if to prove, over and over, that the worst fears about our civilization were correct. His theater aimed for a revolution based on pulling down structures...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 201-232

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-242

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 243-253