Essay On Antonin Artaud
And there, sir, lies the entire problem: to have within oneself the inseparable reality and material clarity of a feeling, to have them to such a degree that the feeling cannot but express itself, to have a wealth of words and formal constructions which might join in the dance, might serve one’s purpose – and at the very moment when the soul is about to organize its wealth, its discoveries, its revelation, at the unconscious moment when the thing is about to emanate, a higher and evil will attacks the soul like vitriol, attacks the word-and-image mass, attacks the mass of the feeling and leaves me painting as at the very door of life.
Its execution when mediated through the social universe comes crashing down and fails to materialize. Hallucinatory scenes include: two stars colliding and a bunch of bugs falling out, scorpians emerging from a vagina, a woman biting the wrist of god and blood spills all over, a nun with huge bosoms which are grappled by a knight.
These foolhardy works often seem to you the product of a mind which is not yet in possession of itself and which perhaps never will posses itself, but who knows what brain they conceal, what power of life, what mental fever which circumstances alone have reduced. Then feet, hands, scalps, masks, colonnades, porticoes, temples, and alembics, falling slower and slower as if through space, then three scorpions one after the other and finally a frog, and a scarab which lands with heart-breaking, nauseating slowness.]YOUNG MAN [shouting at the top of his voice]: Heaven's gone crazy. [Pushes the GIRL off ahead of him]Who, in the heart of some anxiety at the bottom of certain dreams, has not know death as a marvelous, disruptive feeling which could never be confused with anything else of a mental order?
Enough about myself and about my works that are still unborn. Antonin Artaud YOUNG MAN: I love you and everything is fine. One must have experienced with this exhausting crescendo of anguish which comes over one in waves and then swells one up as if forced by some unbearable bellows.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in volatile minds, explosive language, experimental writing, surrealism (which Artaud has beef with, he's a nice sort of counterpoint to surrealism rather than a surrealist himself), spirituality, or psychoanalysis. It becomes immediately apparent that Artaud was not one who was situated at the fringes of all things--of society, of his associations, of his self--but one who had breached the borders andbecame utterly lost within the dangerous territory that lay beyond.
His severe mental illness seems evident in the bizarre associations hemakes between two concepts, although the strength of his prose is born of his peculiar brand of perverse lyricism. For all of Artaud's evident strangeness, it seems ironic t It becomes immediately apparent that Artaud was not one who was situated at the fringes of all things--of society, of his associations, of his self--but one who had breached the borders andbecame utterly lost within the dangerous territory that lay beyond.