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By Artaud, Antonin; Jannarone, Kimberly; Artaud, Antonin

Artaud and His Doubles is an intensive re-thinking of 1 of the main influential theater figures of the 20 th century. putting Artaud's writing in the particular context of ecu political, theatrical, and highbrow heritage, the publication finds Artaud's affinities with a traumatic array of anti-intellectual and reactionary writers and artists whose ranks swelled catastrophically among the wars in Western Europe.

Kimberly Jannarone exhibits that Artaud's paintings unearths units of doubles: one, a physique of particularly chronic bought interpretations from the yankee experimental theater and French post-structuralist readings of the Nineteen Sixties; and, , a darker set of doubles—those of Artaud's contemporaries who, within the tumultuous, alienated, and pessimistic surroundings enveloping a lot of Europe after global struggle I, denounced the degradation of civilization, yearned for cosmic purification, and referred to as for an ecstatic lack of the self. Artaud and His Doubles will generate provocative new discussions approximately Artaud and essentially problem the best way we glance at his paintings and ideas.

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Even Artaud’s use of drugs—mostly a laudanum addiction begun while in a sanatorium—doesn’t stem from a pursuit of self-revelation, but a need to ease his physical pain, and he writes almost not at all of using psychedelic drugs before his 1936 trip to the Tarahumaras. Artaud’s accounts of his personal hallucinations sound less like liberating experiences than nightmares, lacking the pleasure, absurdity, or playfulness of an ideal 1960s acid trip. What would be the revolution brought about by “cruelty” if we viewed it not as a metaphor for a kind of metaphysical strength-building and a necessary precursor to joy, but in Artaud’s own terms?

The urge to destroy was intensified; the urge to create became increasingly abstract. In the end the abstractions turned to insanity and all that remained was destruction, Götterdämmerung. —modris eksteins, Rites of Spring chapter 1 : Invocation of the Plague The penultimate stage direction of Artaud’s only original play, Jet of Blood (1925), presents an image of perverse fecundity characteristic of his writings: An enormous number of scorpions emerge from under the Wet Nurse’s skirts and begin to swarm in her vagina, which swells and splits, becomes vitreous, and flashes like the sun.

His rhetoric and imagery mirror the ravages of World War I and the thinking of those who called for more, who, within a few years, coalesced their irrationalism and mysticism into a body of ideas that fed directly into fascism. This section examines the imagery and polemic of “The Theater and the Plague” alongside contemporaneous resurgences of irrationalism and mysticism, interwar interpretations of Nietzsche and Wagner, and troublingly resonant images of trench warfare. Artaud’s essay reveals a desire to keep war alive during peacetime, demonstrating affinities with interwar counter-Enlightenment and reactionary thinkers who reacted against the nineteenth century’s embrace of science, liberal individualism, belief in progress, and human achievement with a belief in a vague vitalism; a distrust of science and civilization; and apocalyptic images of disease, evil, abjection, and a new, heroic era.

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