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 By Bettina L. Knapp Swallow Press, 1980
The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski By Edward Braun Holmes & Meier, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty"
Literature and Psychoanalysis By 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 By Wallace Fowlie Meridian Books, 1960
Librarian’s tip: "Artaud (1895-1948)" begins on p. 203
Reflections on the Theatre By Jean Louis Barrault Rockliff, 1951
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Antonin Artaud"
Linguistic Disenchantment and Architectural Solace in DeLillo and Artaud By 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 By 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 By 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.' By Sallis, John The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 16, No. 3, Fall 1996
The Trembling Lamb By Antonin Artaud; Carl Solomon; LeRoi Jones; Bernard Fretchman; 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 By 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 By 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 By Robert Leach Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Antonin Artaud: Life and Work"
Avant Garde Theatre, 1892-1992 By Christopher Innes Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Antonin Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty"
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