Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul (Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature)

Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul (Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature)

Language: English

Pages: 190

ISBN: 113731057X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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.














representation, and outlines why poetry should not be allowed in the ideal city. The poet is compared to the painter who holds up a mirror to the sensible world, but because the sensible world is a pale imitation of the real, which is the realm of the ‘Forms’ that are inaccessible to human perception, the reflection of this world is a reflection of a reflection, far removed from the truth, and therefore, Socrates argues, from wisdom. Mimesis, he argues, deals only in appearances: ‘The art of

seul à avoir été profondeur absolue dans la littérature’ (‘the only one to have reached absolute depth in literature).35 Deleuze argues that it is on the surface where the entire logic of sense is to be located, disrupted only by plunging into the depths of a text. As a surface language, Artaud saw Carroll’s made-up words as a light-hearted game rather than the violent disruption of processes of articulation that he sought to express through his own glossolalia, and indeed these adaptations

many of the figures and shapes in the drawings appear sketched in the notebooks, as do sentences that are be used as titles to the drawings. Some of the drawings have commentaries attributed to them; there are six commentaries surviving and reprinted in the complete works, for the drawings Couti l’anatomie (The Anatomy Ploughed), La Machine de l’être ou dessin à regarder de traviole (The Machine of Being, or Drawing to be Looked at Sideways), La Maladresse sexuelle de dieu (The Sexual Clumsiness

the limits of his own corporeality, through gesturing, expulsions, spitting, screaming and stabbing surfaces with a knife or pen. His drawings, then, became a matter of resistance. In the commentary for La Maladresse sexuelle de dieu, discussed at some length in chapter 5, he describes how the human body can produce electrical force by its own means: ‘C’est mon travail qui m’a rendu électrique, dis-je à dieu, quand tu t’es toujours pris pour un pile’ (‘It’s my work that made me electric, I tell

Bordwell, The Films of Carl-Theodor Dreyer (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1981), p. 4. 86. See the prologue included in the Criterion Collection reissue. 87. Drouzy, Carl Th. Dreyer né Nilsson, p. 149. 88. Perhaps the most extreme example of this is the one Stephen Barber gives when he describes how Artaud’s corpse was subjected to a practice known as ‘reduction’, in which, as Barber describes it, ‘the bones were partincinerated and then mechanically compressed into

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