Theatre

Antonin Artaud's Writing Bodies (Oxford Modern Languages and by Adrian Morfee

By Adrian Morfee

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), maybe most sensible referred to as a dramatic theorist, is a vital yet super tricky author. This ebook stories the improvement of his considering, from the early texts of the Twenties via to the acclaimed yet lesser recognized Forties writings, on such matters because the physique, theology, language, id and the quest for an elusive and unsayable self-presence, after which makes use of this as a framework within which to learn his past due texts. New cognizance is paid to the strategies during which his texts generate meanings, the logics that carry those meanings jointly, and the interior contradictions of the past due poetry. this permits a brand new photograph to emerge that debts for the coherent if unequal improvement of his principles in addition to the force in the direction of systematization to be present in even his so much opaque writings. by way of returning to the texts and targeting the categorical phrases of Artaud's writing, in addition to their gleeful resourcefulness and ludicity, it's argued that Artaud has to be thought of no longer as a contestatory psychotic yet as a author of the 1st magnitude.

Accessible to either student and newcomer, this illuminating and unique research will refocus serious suggestion on either the advance of Artaud's considering and the importance of his oft-neglected later paintings.

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It is just that for him the ideal of surreality is something to be posited, not attained. Yet overshadowing the aYrmative faith in freeing the mind so that it might cognize in tune with reality is, for Artaud, the basic experience of cognitive stalling and the sense that consciousness is a void. ‘J’ai l’air bien aVreusement pre´occupe´ de de´montrer que je ne pense pas’, writes Artaud nine months after the appearance of his correspondence with Rivie`re and a few weeks prior to the appearance of the equally selfanalytical L’Ombilic des Limbes and Le Pe`se-Nerfs, ‘mais je pense [ .

Artaud does not build theories but theorizes, his work is directed not towards creating objects, either aesthetic or theoretical, but towards the activities of thinking and writing. His is a writing introduction 19 of intellectual energy, not intellectual fruits. What matters to Artaud is not structures, but the dissolution and reconstitution of structures. This study is a study of literature. It is not an apologia for Artaudian thought. It looks at what happens when linguistic playfulness is placed at the service of wide-scale metaphysical restructuring in Artaud’s writing, and, if this involves tracing Artaud’s ideas, this should not be taken as an endorsement of them.

His is no stance; and herein lies the value of his writing, he argues, for its peculiar failings are revelatory of an exemplarily alienated mind: ‘Je m’e´tais imagine´ vous retenir [ . . ] par la rarete´ de certains phe´nome`nes d’ordre intellectuel [ . . ] Je me Xattais de vous apporter un cas, un cas mental caracte´rise´, et [ . . ] attirer votre attention sur la valeur re´elle, la valeur initiale de ma 1 Nietzsche, The Will to Power, para. 482. Correspondance avec Jacques Rivie`re was not Artaud’s Wrst publication.

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