Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul (Palegrave Studies in by Ros Murray

By Ros Murray

Antonin Artaud is likely one of the such a lot demanding and provocative figures in twentieth-century France. highly influential on severe theorists from the post-war interval as much as the current day, Artaud's paintings remains to be mentioned in theatre stories, serious concept, avant-garde paintings, functionality perform and picture reports. Taking a comparative and interdisciplinary method, interpreting his paintings along Daniel Paul Schreber, Georges Bataille, Lewis Carroll, Germaine Dulac and Carl Theodor Dreyer, Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul delves into the center of Artaud's inventive venture, situating this on the point of the cloth item: the paper on which he wrote, the gap of functionality, the film-strip and the tape recording. This illuminating booklet should be of significant importance to readers attracted to corporeal insurrection and the facility of gesture, laying off new mild on validated theories of media and function and contemplating the unexplored complexities of Artaud's paintings because it engages with subject.

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Additional info for Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul (Palegrave Studies in Modern European Literature)

Sample text

The opposition to Darstellung, one might argue, is the body; this certainly chimes with Artaud’s insistence on finding a corporeal language to overcome the distancing effect inherent in the representative act. However, the only way that Schreber believes he can escape his torturous process of Darstellung is by thinking nothing; God, he claims, does not understand that human beings can think nothing and so assumes that he must be dead. The failure of ‘representation’ thus becomes a kind of death.

This ‘work’ requires the creation of (what Sontag calls) ‘thought that undoes itself’,49 and thereby closely documents the process at the very basis of literary creation, a process rarely articulated with such intensity. The challenge of how to read the remnants of this self-destructive thinking process can be articulated in terms of how to approach a representation of something that claims not to be representable. The problem of whether expression without representation is possible, as we have seen, is a recurring theme in Artaud’s work that never reaches its conclusion; representation is something that must be constantly fought against, but is never completely denied.

The opposition to Darstellung, one might argue, is the body; this certainly chimes with Artaud’s insistence on finding a corporeal language to overcome the distancing effect inherent in the representative act. However, the only way that Schreber believes he can escape his torturous process of Darstellung is by thinking nothing; God, he claims, does not understand that human beings can think nothing and so assumes that he must be dead. The failure of ‘representation’ thus becomes a kind of death.

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