Arthur Rimbaud | A Season in Hell

   * * * Long ago, if my memory serves, life was a feast where every heart was open, where every wine flowed. One night, I sat Beauty on my knee. —And I found her bitter. —And I hurt her. I took arms against justice. I fled, entrusting my treasure to you, o witches, o misery, o hate. I snuffed any hint of human hope from my consciousness. I made the muffled leap of a wild beast onto any hint of joy, to strangle it. Dying, I called my executioners over so I could bite the butts of their rifles….

Antonin Artaud | Manifesto In A Clear Language

If I believe neither in Evil nor in Good, if I feel such a strong inclination to destroy, if there is nothing in the order of principles to which I can reasonably accede, the underlying reason is in my flesh. I destroy because for me everything that proceeds from reason is untrustworthy.I believe only in the evidence of what stirs my marrow, not in the evidence of what addresses itself to my reason. I have found levels in the realm of the nerve. I now feel capable of evaluating the evidence. There is for me an evidence in the realm…

Antonin Artaud, Surrealism and the Void; by Stephen Barber

  Artaud believed that every birth coincides with a killing. Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud was born at eight in the morning of 4 September 1896, at 15 rue du Jardin des Plantes, near the Marseilles zoo. The rue du Jardin des Plantes has since been renamed the rue des Trois Frères Carasso. Artaud himself, on many occasions, was to change and distort the name under which he was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church. He adopted numerous pseudonyms, such as Eno Dailor for some of his early Surrealist texts. Before his journey to Ireland in 1937, he styled himself ‘The…

Nathaniel Mackey | Cante Moro

I would like to touch on the topic of “The New American Poetry“ where it opens onto matters we wouldn’t necessarily expect it to entail—not necessarily “new,” not necessarily “American,” not even necessarily “poetry.” What I’d like to touch on is the New American Poetry’s Spanish connection: Garcia Lorca’s meditation on the “dark sounds” of cante jondo, deep song, the quality and condition known as duende. I’ll be talking about that in relation to an array of “dark sounds” which bear upon a cross-cultural poetics intimated by the inclusion of Lorca’s “Theory and Function of the Duende” in The Poetics…

Arthur Rimbaud| Poems 1871/72

  STOLEN HEART My sad heart drools on deck, A heart splattered with chaw: A target for bowls of soup, My sad heart drools on deck: Soldiers jeer and guffaw. My sad heart drools on deck, A heart splattered with chaw! Ithyphallic and soldierly, Their jeers have soiled me! Painted on the tiller Ithyphallic and soldierly. Abracadabric seas, Cleanse my heart of this disease. Ithyphallic and soldierly, Their jeers have soiled me! When they’ve shot their wads, How will my stolen heart react? Bacchic fits and bacchic starts When they’ve shot their wads: I’ll retch to see my heart Trampled…

Henri Chopin

  Born in 1922 in Paris, Chopin is one of the key figures of the international neo-avantgarde. His career goes back to the fifties, and he was one of the founders of sound poetry. During World War II he was obliged to do forced labour in 1942, and a year later, the Germans deported him to Olomuk in Czechoslovakia. Between 1944 and 1945 he found himself on the ‘death march’ towards Russia. The terrible conditions during the war were a source of inspiration for his works, but 1955 saw a turning point in his poetical interests. On the island of…

‘The Function of Autonomy’: Félix Guattari and New Revolutionary Prospects

by Andrew Ryder Félix Guattari is widely discussed among philosophers, particularly feminists and specialists in ecology and technology. But in the Anglophone world, political organisers tend to ignore him. In part this is due to academic paywalls and university strictures confining his work, but the problem goes further: the stylistic conservatism of so much of the Anglo-American left has impeded the capacity to learn from his insights, because they are presented in an nontraditional and unfamiliar style. This resistance has obscured his continuing activity as a participant and organiser in a variety of international struggles. This is not merely of…