Download e-book for iPad: Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul by Ros Murray

By Ros Murray

This e-book serves as research of the aesthetics of materiality within the multifaceted paintings of Antonin Artaud, one in all Twentieth-Century France's such a lot provocative and influential figures, spanning literature, functionality, artwork, cinema, media and demanding thought.

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Extra resources for Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul

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60 The idea that a sign can directly express something with no need for interpretation, as we have seen, might, of course, be understood as somewhat dubious. Whilst Artaud acknowledges the need for signs in order to convey meaning, he simultaneously denies the readability of 32 Antonin Artaud these signs; they are not to be understood, but felt through the body. The importance that Artaud gives to the physical, bodily experience of theatre is also present elsewhere in his work in his continual insistence on materiality.

I want to argue for a distinction between the different types of ‘mimesis’ that 28 Antonin Artaud Plato’s texts deploy, a distinction that reveals much about Artaud’s ambivalent reaction to representation. The most often cited Platonic definition of mimesis is the one that occurs in Book Ten of the Republic, through a conversation between Socrates and Plato’s brother in which Socrates discusses the dangers of artistic representation, and outlines why poetry should not be allowed in the ideal city.

We have seen so far how representation has a highly problematic and contradictory status in Artaud’s texts. Artaud’s ‘works’ continually put into question their own status as works and Artaud himself certainly did not attempt to create any distinction between his work and his life. Does this mean that his readers should also fail to make a distinction? How are we to deal with Artaud’s perceived ‘madness’? These are difficult questions for anyone approaching Artaud’s work because he himself writes so vehemently about the psychiatric treatment he received; his texts are not only, in many cases, a direct result of this treatment but they also explicitly draw attention to it.

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