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

By Adrian Morfee

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), might be most sensible referred to as a dramatic theorist, is a vital yet tremendous tricky author. This booklet reports the advance of his considering, from the early texts of the Twenties via to the acclaimed yet lesser identified Forties writings, on such concerns because the physique, theology, language, identification and the hunt for an elusive and unsayable self-presence, after which makes use of this as a framework during which to learn his overdue texts. New realization is paid to the strategies through 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 photo to emerge that bills for the coherent if unequal improvement of his rules in addition to the force in the direction of systematization to be present in even his such a lot opaque writings. via 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 severe suggestion on either the advance of Artaud's pondering and the importance of his oft-neglected later paintings.

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Extra info for Antonin Artaud's Writing Bodies (Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs)

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The underlying idea would seem to be that writing is the only means for self-knowledge, as the very failings of writing expose those aspects of his thought that are truly issued from his self and not mere borrowings from discourse. It is precisely and uniquely in the failure of writing that Artaud hopes to Wnd his mind. He fully exists only in writing and can fully know his self and his thoughts only in writing. Artaud’s later, dominant belief that he could change his identity and biology via writing (the corps sans organes to be delivered by the text) is therefore to be found in embryo form at the beginning of his literary career.

Toute la pense´e profonde a` ce moment se stratiWait, se re´solvait, devenait transparente et re´duite’ (i*. 51). The poetic manifold is lost. Somewhere between the noisy over-signiWcation of chaos and the sterility of an order-ridden discourse Artaud posits a fragile poetic state that is a celebration of multiplicity and potentiality. A new, chaotic order is to elicit but not impose form on the miasma of experience, and at times Artaud seems to imply that surreal poetic diction might oVer the means of retaining the vital disorder of experience.

5 It is not a lack of individual inspiration or the dead weight of tradition that impedes creativity but language as such. Language is no longer conceived as a tool but as a force in its own right (making literary activity less an aesthetic than an existential activity). ), Modernism: A Guide to European Literature 1890–1930 (London: Penguin, 1991), 323–36. 5 Quoted in English in ibid. 328. 24 painful bodies of thought Heidegger, whose work is contemporary to Surrealism, says of language that it does not exhaust itself in signifying but remains excedentary to human uses, outside the world, self-standing and resistant.

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