Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud (äNtônăN´ ärtō´), 1896–1948, French poet, actor, and director. During the 1920s and 30s he was associated with various experimental theater groups in Paris, and he cofounded the Théâtre Alfred Jarry. Artaud's theories of drama, particularly his concept of the "theater of cruelty," greatly influenced 20th-century theater. He related theater to the plague because both destroy the veneer of civilization, revealing the ugly realities beneath and returning humanity to a primitive state, in which it lacks morality and reason. The aim of the "theater of cruelty" was to disturb the audience and reveal the forces of nature. To achieve this end he emphasized the nonverbal aspects of theater such as color and movement and stressed the importance of violence as a theatrical device. Artaud's most important work is Le Théâtre et son double (1938, tr. 1958). His influence can be seen in the works of Jean Genet, Fernando Arrabal, Peter Weiss, Peter Brook, and Julian Beck and Judith Malina. Artaud was afflicted with mental illness from his childhood, and in 1936 he was declared insane; he spent much of the rest of his life in mental institutions.

See his Selected Writings ed. by S. Sontag (1971); B. L. Knapp, Antonin Artaud: Man of Vision (1980); J. Derrida and P. Thevenin, Antoine Artaud: Drawings and Portraits (1990).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Antonin Artaud: Selected full-text books and articles

Antonin Artaud: Man of Vision
Bettina L. Knapp.
Swallow Press, 1980
The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski
Edward Braun.
Holmes & Meier, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty"
Literature and Psychoanalysis
Edith Kurzweil; William Phillips.
Columbia University Press, 1983
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 21 "The Schizophrenic and Language: Surface and Depth in Lewis Carroll and Antonin Artaud"
Dionysus in Paris: A Guide to Contemporary French Theater
Wallace Fowlie.
Meridian Books, 1960
Librarian’s tip: "Artaud (1895-1948)" begins on p. 203
Reflections on the Theatre
Jean Louis Barrault.
Rockliff, 1951
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Antonin Artaud"
Linguistic Disenchantment and Architectural Solace in DeLillo and Artaud
Thornton, Z. Bart.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 30, No. 1, March 1997
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
In Search of a Forgotten Culture: Artaud, Mexico and the Balance of Matter and Spirit
Boldt-Irons, Leslie Anne.
The Romanic Review, Vol. 89, No. 1, January 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Kerouac, Artaud, and the Baroque Period of the Three Stooges
Sterritt, David.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 31, No. 4, December 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
On 'Wagner/Artaud.'
Sallis, John.
The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 16, No. 3, Fall 1996
The Trembling Lamb
Antonin Artaud; Carl Solomon; Bernard Fretchman; LeRoi Jones; John Fles.
Phoenix Bookshop, 1959
Librarian’s tip: "Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society" by Antonin Artaud begins on p. 2
Van Gogh 100
Joseph D. Masheck.
Greenwood Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 19 "Van Gogh and His Readers: The Case of Antonin Artaud"
Separation and Creativity: Refinding the Lost Language of Childhood
Maud Mannoni; Susan Fairfield.
Other Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Birth of the Institution: Meeting Artaud and Grotowski"
Makers of Modern Theatre: An Introduction
Robert Leach.
Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Antonin Artaud: Life and Work"
Avant Garde Theatre, 1892-1992
Christopher Innes.
Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Antonin Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty"
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