Antonin Artaud (September 04, 1896 - March 04, 1948)
Born: 4th September, 1896
Died: 4th March, 1948
Nationality: French
Profession/Occupation: Dramatist
Region: Marseille, France, Ivry-sur-Seine
Notable works: "La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc", "Manifeste du theatre de la cruaute", "The Theatre and Its Double", "Les Cenci"

Antonin Artaud Facts

Biography

Antonin Artaud, original name in full Antoine-Marie-Joseph Artaud, (born Sept. 4, 1896, Marseille, France--died March 4, 1948, Ivry-sur-Seine), French dramatist, poet, actor, and theoretician of the Surrealist movement who attempted to replace the "bourgeois" classical theatre with his "theatre of cruelty," a primitive ceremonial experience intended to liberate the human subconscious and reveal man to himself.

Artaud's parents were partly Levantine Greek, and he was much affected by this background, especially in his fascination with mysticism. Lifelong mental disorders sent him repeatedly into asylums. He sent his Surrealist poetry L'Ombilic des limbes (1925; "Umbilical Limbo") and Le Pese-nerfs (1925; Nerve Scales) to the influential critic Jacques Riviere, thus beginning their long correspondence. After studying acting in Paris, he made his debut in Aurelien Lugne-Poe's Dadaist-Surrealist Theatre de l'Oeuvre. Artaud broke with the Surrealists when their leader, the poet Andre Breton, gave their allegiance to communism. Artaud, who believed the movement's strength was extrapolitical, joined another defecting Surrealist, the dramatist Roger Vitrac, in the short-lived Theatre Alfred Jarry. Artaud played Marat in Abel Gance's film Napoleon (1927) and appeared as a friar in Carl Dreyer's classic film La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928; The Passion of Joan of Arc).

Artaud's Manifeste du theatre de la cruaute (1932; "Manifesto of the Theatre of Cruelty") and Le Theatre et son double (1938; The Theatre and Its Double) call for a communion between actor and audience in a magic exorcism; gestures, sounds, unusual scenery, and lighting combine to form a language, superior to words, that can be used to subvert thought and logic and to shock the spectator into seeing the baseness of his world.

Artaud's own works, less important than his theories, were failures. Les Cenci, performed in Paris in 1935, was an experiment too bold for its time. His vision, however, was a major influence on the Absurd theatre of Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, and others and on the entire movement away from the dominant role of language and rationalism in contemporary theatre. His other works include D'un voyage au pays des Tarahumaras (1955; Peyote Dance), a collection of texts written between 1936 and 1948 about his travels in Mexico, Van Gogh, le suicide de la societe (1947; "Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society"), and Heliogabale, ou l'anarchiste couronne (1934; "Heliogabalus, or the Crowned Anarchist").

Top 13 Antonin Artaud quotes

Don't tire yourself more than need be, even at the price of founding a culture on the fatigue of your bones.
Bones
Culture
Even
Fatigue
Founding
More
Need
Price
Than
Tire
Your
Yourself
Those who live, live off the dead.
Dead
Live
Off
Those
Who
So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.
Any
Causes
Cleanse
Despair
Eliminate
Failed
Himself
Human
Long
Man
Means
Right
Those
Tries
No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.
Built
Ever
Except
Get
Hell
Invented
Literally
Modeled
No-one
Out
Painted
Written
It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must from time to time be present.
Absence
Feel
From time to time
Makes
Me
Must
Opium
Present
Time
Which
Work
Never tire yourself more than necessary, even if you have to found a culture on the fatigue of your bones.
Bones
Culture
Even
Fatigue
Found
More
Necessary
Never
Than
Tire
You
Your
Yourself
All true language is incomprehensible, like the chatter of a beggar's teeth.
Beggar
Chatter
Incomprehensible
Language
Like
Teeth
True
There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea, shining in his head, frightened people, and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him.
Delirium
Every
Frightened
Genius
Had
Head
Him
His
Idea
Life
Madman
Misunderstood
Only
People
When we speak the word 'life,' it must be understood we are not referring to life as we know it from its surface of fact, but to that fragile, fluctuating center which forms never reach.
Center
Fact
Forms
Fragile
Know
Life
Must
Never
Reach
Referring
Speak
Surface
Understood
Which
I myself spent nine years in an insane asylum and I never had the obsession of suicide, but I know that each conversation with a psychiatrist, every morning at the time of his visit, made me want to hang myself, realizing that I would not be able to cut his throat.
Able
Asylum
Conversation
Cut
Each
Every
Had
Hang
His
Insane
Know
Made
Me
Morning
Hell is of this world and there are men who are unhappy escapees from hell, escapees destined ETERNALLY to reenact their escape.
Destined
Escape
Eternally
Hell
Hell is
Men
Unhappy
Who
World
We must wash literature off ourselves. We want to be men above all, to be human.
Above
Human
Literature
Men
Must
Off
Ourselves
Want
Wash
Written poetry is worth reading once, and then should be destroyed. Let the dead poets make way for others.
Dead
Destroyed
Make
Once
Others
Poetry
Poets
Reading
Should
Then
Way
Worth
Worth reading
Written

Antonin Artaud essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Studying THE IDEA OF The Mask English Literature Essay
The concept of fake jewelry can be an interesting one, as it constantly raises questions of merit. Why do people involve themselves within the dubious activity of putting on fake jewelry? Is it because they want to impress or fool their peers with their genuine affluence and social standing? Or could it be more of a psychological dilemma, as one is inclined to seek personal satisfaction and contention within their endeavors to deceive themselves of their own status in modern culture? In Dude de Maupassant's short account, False Gems, we face the average income couple of Monsieur and Madame Lantin...
The Theatre Of Cruelty English Literature Essay
During the first 1930s, the French dramatist and professional Antonin Artaud put forth a theory for a Surrealist theater called the Theatre of Cruelty. Predicated on ritual and fantasy, this form of theatre launches an assault on the spectators' subconscious in an attempt to release deep-rooted concerns and anxieties that are normally suppressed, forcing visitors to view themselves and their natures without the shield of civilization. Artaud envisioned the break down of the barriers between spectator and performer to heighten the theater heading experience. These ideas have acted as..
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