Antonin Artaud

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Antonin Artaud
Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud
BirthplaceMarseille, France
Theatre director, poet, actor, playwright
Known for Theatre of Cruelty

Artaud, Antonin

(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 GenetGenet, Jean
, 1910–86, French dramatist. Deserted by his parents as an infant, Genet spent much of his early life in reformatories and prisons. Between 1940 and 1948 he wrote several autobiographical prose narratives dealing with homosexuality and crime, including
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, Fernando ArrabalArrabal, Fernando
, 1932–, French playwright, b. Melilla, Morocco. He studied law in Madrid before moving to Paris in 1954. His plays, which reflect his abhorrence of political repression, bourgeois complacency, and war, are often abstract and savagely ironic, employing
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, Peter WeissWeiss, Peter
, 1916–82, German-Swedish dramatist, novelist, film director, and painter. Weiss's early novels Abschied von den Eltern (1961; tr. Leavetaking, 1962) and Fluchtpunkt (1962; tr.
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, Peter BrookBrook, Peter,
1925–, English theatrical director, b. London, grad. Oxford (1943). An innovative, unconventional, and controversial figure, Brook mounts energetic productions in which the entire stage is utilized and realistic sets are banished in favor of bold, abstract,
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, and Julian BeckBeck, Julian,
1925–85, American theatrical director, actor, and producer, b. New York City. In 1948 he married Judith Malina, 1926–2015, also an American theatrical director, actor, and producer, b. Germany.
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 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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The play examines the nature of fairy tales, with influences from the Brothers Grimm, Franz Kafka and Antonin Artaud.
Marinetti; Biomechanics and constructivism, Edward Braun; The naked stage, John Rudlin; Theater (Buhne), Oskar Schlemmer; The documentary play, Erwin Piscator, Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) and Caspar Neher (1897-1962), Joslin McKinney and Philip Butterworth; Production and metaphysics, Antonin Artaud; Myth and theatre laboratories, Peter Brook; After ideology: Heiner Muller and the theatre of catastrophe, David Kilpatrick; 1789, Victoria Nes Kirby; Notes on political street theatre, Paris: 1968, 1969, Jean-Jacques Lehel; Make-believe: Societas Raffaello Sanzio do theatre, Nicholas Ridout; Spectacle, synergy and megamusicals: the global-industrialisation of the live-entertainment economy, Jonathan Burston; The digital double, Steve Dixon.
The plot of "Everything" is loosely based on "The Epic of Gilgamesh" -- particularly the eponymous demigod's quest for the eternal life -- but it also takes inspiration from the works of Antonin Artaud, Mahmoud Darwish, and Marguerite Duras, among others.
Based on the work of Antonin Artaud, a 1920s French actor and writer who spent almost 10 years in a mental institution, Pearson's solo performances, Flesh and Asylum, explored the physical and mental aspects of the writer's condition after years of electro-shock treatment.
Mencken, Antonin Artaud, Stefan George, and Yukio Mishima.
frances Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), de Paris ao Mexico, em busca de
In this example, it isn't Deleuze's fault but the fault of the writer who drops this phrase in with no explication.) Theory circulates like a lame duck, ever so misunderstood as an excuse for programmatic language, when the great theorists are those who write and choose their words with heart and lyricism: Antonin Artaud, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, or the Avital Ronell of Crack Wars: Literature, Addiction, Mania (1993).