Antonin Artaud | Alienation and Black Magic & Peter Valente | from ‘The Artaud Variations’

  ALIENATION AND BLACK MAGIC   Insane asylums are conscious and premeditated receptacles of black magic, and it is not only that doctors encourage magic with their inopportune and hybrid therapies, it is how they use it. If there had been no doctors there would never have been patients, no skeletons of the diseased dead to butcher and flay, for it is through doctors and not through patients that society began. Those who live, live off the dead. And it is likewise necessary that death live; and there is nothing like an insane asylum for gently incubating death, and for…

Alexander Trocchi | A Revolutionary Proposal: Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds

And if there is still one hellish, truly accursed thing in our time, it is our artistic dallying with forms, instead of being like victims burnt at the stake, signalling through the flames. — Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double, 1958 Revolt is understandably unpopular. As soon as it is defined, it has provoked the measures for its confinement. The prudent man will avoid his definition which is in effect his death-sentence. Besides, it is a limit. We are concerned not with the coup d’etat [seizure of the state] of Trotsky and Lenin, but with the coup du monde [seizure of the world], a transition…

Antonin Artaud | Sylvère Lotringer; All Paranoiacs (Interview with Paule Thévenin)

Antonin Artaud | Post-Scriptum Who am I? Where do I come from? I am Antonin Artaud and if I say it as I know how to say it immediately you will see my present body fly into pieces and under ten thousand notorious aspects a new body will be assembled in which you will never again be able to forget me. Translated by Clayton Eshleman   False Witnesses Sylvère Lotringer: You never told me how you met Artaud. Paule Thévenin: No, and I won’t say anything. SL: Ah! It’s a secret. PT: No. People are false witnesses. SL: And you?…

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…

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…

Two Poets — Antonin Artaud & Roger Gilbert-Lecomte

The life and work of Antonin Artaud possess a raw power. Long after his death, Artaud’s body of work continues to ricochet strongly through contemporary culture. The facts of Artaud’s life are stark and austere. He was a writer whose work extended provocatively but disastrously into many unknown channels. His extreme challenge was […]