By Ros Murray
Antonin Artaud is without doubt one of the such a lot difficult and provocative figures in twentieth-century France. highly influential on serious theorists from the post-war interval as much as the current day, Artaud's paintings is still mentioned in theatre reports, serious concept, avant-garde artwork, functionality perform and picture experiences. 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 guts of Artaud's inventive undertaking, situating this on the point of the fabric item: the paper on which he wrote, the distance of functionality, the film-strip and the tape recording. This illuminating ebook can be of significant importance to readers drawn to corporeal rebel and the ability of gesture, laying off new gentle on tested theories of media and function and contemplating the unexplored complexities of Artaud's paintings because it engages with subject.
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Extra resources for Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul (Palegrave Studies in Modern European Literature)
64 To return to Artaud’s sentence from Le Pèse-nerfs, we can revisit the notion of his work as ‘raclures de l’âme’ (‘scrapings of the soul’). 65 The waste product of thought, the fragments, ‘the work’, or whatever it might be called as opposed to ‘work’ (the process of making it), is a kind of scummy, scabby skin, an excretion that sticks to the body and needs to be scraped off. The representation of the body at the surface of the page goes against a model of representation as absence, and situates it in a more immediate space: the space of 34 Antonin Artaud the material object, which becomes an expression of thought as it arises through the very process of mediation.
The principal example of a sign that he uses is the hieroglyph, which again he takes to be a direct expression that needs no cultural understanding to interpret. 58 These are impossible signs that convey meaning with no ambiguity. He insists on using all available dimensions, and creating poetry in space, based on all the senses, using movement, sound, colour and light. 59 There is an emphasis on vibration and ‘tremblements’, hypnotism and violence, and at one point he suggests that the audience should be placed on mobile chairs in the middle of the room.
Rather than taking the form of a carefully structured attempt at ordering what can only be taken to be complete chaos, Le Pèse-nerfs speaks chaotically through fragments, seeking to express an essentially poetic, creative force through the very form that the collection takes. Whilst Schreber opens his memoirs with a letter pleading for Flechsig (his doctor) to provide evidence of the objective truth of what he writes, Artaud’s opening sentence (addressed to an unidentified ‘vous’, perhaps the reader) dispels any construction of external reality, giving way to the creation of an ‘impossible space’ where communication might begin: J’ai senti vraiment que vous rompiez autour de moi l’atmosphère, que vous faisiez le vide pour me permettre d’avancer, pour donner 20 Antonin Artaud la place d’un espace impossible à ce qui en moi n’était encore qu’en puissance, à toute une germination virtuelle, et qui devait naître, aspirée par la place qui s’offrait.