Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul (Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature)
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This book serves as analysis of the aesthetics of materiality in the multifaceted work of Antonin Artaud, one of Twentieth-Century France's most provocative and influential figures, spanning literature, performance, art, cinema, media and critical theory.
language: whilst Carroll produces text as œuvre, Artaud is more interested in regurgitated, formless matter. (iv) Which is to be master In many respects, chapter 6 of Through the Looking Glass is a particularly appropriate text for Artaud to adapt. One reason for this is that the original text is about making words mean whatever the speaker wants them to mean, thus inviting a more imaginative interpretation. Humpty Dumpty uses language as he pleases, inventing words, and taking them out of their
sixteenth century, Foucault writes, because it has a material relationship with the real world: ‘le langage réel [...] est plutôt chose opaque, mystérieuse, refermée sur elle-même, masse fragmentée et de point en point énigmatique, qui se mêle ici ou là aux figures du monde, et s’enchevêtre à elles’ (‘real language [...] is rather an opaque, mysterious thing, closed in upon itself, a fragmented mass, its enigma renewed in every interval, which combines here and there with the forms of the world
being specifically theatrical, because he argues that the ‘actual-materialistic element in theatre’18 is what brings us closer to the cinema. He writes: ‘the cinema is able, more than any other art, to disclose the process that goes on microscopically in all other arts’.19 In fact, although Artaud later would abandon cinema in favour of theatre, initially his ideas about the cinema might be placed in a similar bracket to that of Eisenstein. Eisenstein also believed that film should shock the
the body on film, not only because it has an indexical relationship to the body that was there, but perhaps also because it suffered the same fate. This seems like a typically Artaudian end; never content with simply writing about the body’s destruction, Artaud destroyed the surface of the paper or material with which he was engaging as if it were that very same body, stopping short of complete annihilation. Artaud’s own work, like Dreyer’s, is full of strange coincidences where its material fate
hoeing, reaping or sowing to describe how he engages with the surface of the page, these find their inspiration in the work of Van Gogh. Artaud’s 1947 publication Van Gogh le suicidé de la société (Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society) was an enraged response to an article written by a psychiatrist, Dr Beer, published in the weekly journal Arts, in which Beer describes Van Gogh’s work as the work of someone who is mentally ill. Artaud produced this furious, beautifully written homage to Van