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Antonin Artaud was born in Marscillcs in 1896. Hc was an actor, poct,
playwright, dircctor and dramatic thcorist. Associatcd with thc Surrcalists in thc
1920s, hc foundcd, in 1926, thc 1hctrc Alfrcd Jarry, namcd aftcr his fcllow
Frcnch writcr, bcst known for thc satirical play 1u-6o1. Artaud latcr abandoncd
thc Surrcalist movcmcnt bccausc of its involvcmcnt with politics. Hc advocatcd a
thcatrc that dispcnscd with narrativc and psychological rcalism in favour of
drcams and thc intcrior obscssions of thc mind. Hc distrustcd words and spokcn
dialoguc, calling instcad for a languagc of gcsturcs, shapcs, light and movcmcnt
- his conccpt of 'total thcatrc'. Artaud was a major influcncc on avant-gardc
writcrs such as Bcckctt, Ioncsco, Gcnct and Albcc.
For somcbody who wrotc vcry littlc in thc way of thcatrical picccs ('plays' would
bc a largcly rcdundant tcrm for Artaud, Tc Ccnc1 cxccptcd), dircctcd vcry littlc,
had ncxt to no succcss on thc stagc, and lcft a body of work opcn to wild
cxtrcmcs of intcrprctation, Antonin Artaud is a rarc phcnomcnon.
Add to this thc fact that hc spcnt a grcat dcal of his lifc addictcd to drugs or
lockcd up in asylums or attcmpting numcrous, unsucccssful, dctoxification
programmcs, or hc was to bc found acting in films, or bcing cxpcllcd from thc
Surrcalists, or disappcaring into thc hills of Mcxico in scarch of thc 1arahumara
Indians, or arriving in Ircland with a walking stick hc claimcd to havc bclongcd
to Saint Patrick and cvcntually bcing dcportcd, it is a wondcr hc had thc timc or
lucidity to writc anything at all.
Howcvcr, not only did hc managc to producc work but hc produccd an
cnormous amount - sccnarios, lcttcrs, pocms, manifcstos, articlcs, drawings. And,
morcovcr, 'Artaudian' has bccomc a tcrm for somc forms and stylcs of thcatrical
practicc which is almost instantancously undcrstandablc - if usually in a wholly
misapprchcndcd manncr.
At thc ccntrc of his thcatrical thought is thc conccpt of 'cruclty'. What hc mcant
by it, in possibly ovcr-simplificd tcrms, is:
Existcncc is cvil,
Goodncss is an act of will, an cffort,
1o livc wcll, or to livc a 'good' lifc rcquircs an act of will, of grcat cffort, to
countcract thc inhcrcnt cvil abroad in thc univcrsc,
1hcrcforc: it is crucl to havc to continually makc thc cffort to livc without
His thcatrical mcans includc 'words' bcing rcplaccd or rcduccd in significancc by
gcsturc, incantation, shouts and groans, usc of ancicnt or ncwly manufacturcd
musical instrumcnts to crcatc vibrations and 'unbcaringly picrcing sound',
cxaggcratcd props and puppcts ('thirty foot high cffigics of King Icar's bcard in
thc storm'), a rcdcfincd rclationship bctwccn actor and audicncc and many othcr
1hcatrc, in othcr words, was a placc of ritual, ccrcmony and hcaling, church and
hospital. It was a placc whcrc an audicncc could cxorcisc thc dcmon of cruclty, a
placc whcrc an audicncc could both contract thc 'plaguc' and bc curcd of it - a
sort of absinthc-riddcn Aristotclian tragcdy on a combination of laudanum and
holy watcr.
1his bibliography attcmpts to list rcsourccs which might hclp studcnts and
tcachcrs makc somc scnsc of thc rantings and ravings of this madman, thc poctic
and practical outpourings of this gcnuinc thcatrical visionary.
Pcrhaps what rcmains of Artaud - his own work and thc rcminisccnccs of
contcmporarics - is not thc truc csscncc of his proposals for thcatrc. Pcrhaps thc
only accuratc rcprcscntation of Artaudian thcatrc was Artaud's lifc itsclf. Pcrhaps
thc 1hcatrc of Cruclty's onc and only pcrformancc lastcd from 4 Scptcmbcr 1896
to 4 March 1948.
Much of thc initial contact thc English-spcaking world had with Artaud was
through thc Caldcr & Boyars publications of thc sixtics and scvcntics, translatcd
by Victor Corti. 1hcsc havc bccn rc-issucd many timcs, mostly through Caldcr
Publications (sincc thc publishcrs split into scparatc John Caldcr and Marion
Boyars publishing houscs). Somc of thcsc latcr cditions and rcvisions havc
includcd Alastair Hamilton as a translator. Much of thc Caldcr cataloguc is
publishcd in thc USA by Rivcrrun Prcss Inc.
Amcrican publications such as Susan Sontag's sclcctions and thc Grovc Prcss
cditions havc tcndcd to usc diffcrcnt translators, in thcsc cascs, rcspcctivcly,
Hclcn Wcavcr and Mary C Richards. Iattcrly, translations by Clayton Eshlcman
havc bccomc popular with somc critics. Stcphcn Barbcr, for instancc (An1on1n
Ar1aud. 1o and on, and Ar1aud. Tc 5crcan1ny ody, bclow), apart from
providing his own translations for his own books, ratcs Eshlcman far and away
thc bcst translator of Artaud, cvcn suggcsting in Tc 5crcan1ny ody that all othcr
translations arc so bad thcy 'should bc avoidcd likc thc plaguc' (p.123).
1hosc who havc Frcnch can also rcad Artaud in his nativc languagc in thc
Ccuvrc Conp1c1c (Paris: Gallimard), and dccidc for thcmsclvcs which
translation thcy prcfcr.
,4)) !
Artaud, Antonin, Collcctcd Works, Vol. 1, trans. Victor Corti, Iondon: Caldcr,
1his contains various itcms of intcrcst, including corrcspondcncc with thc
poct Jacqucs Rivicrc, prosc and poctry.
Artaud, Antonin, Collcctcd Works, Vol. 2, trans. Victor Corti, Iondon: Caldcr,
Includcs Artaud on '1hc Alfrcd Jarry 1hcatrc', sccnarios and production plans.
Artaud, Antonin, Collcctcd Works, Vol. 3, trans. Victor Corti, Iondon: Caldcr,
A volumc with cincma work, intcrvicws and lcttcrs.
Artaud, Antonin, Collcctcd Works, Vol. 4, trans. Victor Corti, Iondon: Caldcr,
Ccrtainly thc volumc most worth buying for this unit of thc Advanccd Highcr
Drama coursc. Its contcnts includc '1hc 1hcatrc and Its Doublc', from which
many itcms can bc cxamincd, most notably, '1hcatrc and thc Plaguc', 'On
Balincsc 1hcatrc', and both First and Sccond Manifcstos of '1hc 1hcatrc of
Cruclty'. Also includcd in this volumc is thc tcxt of Tc Ccnc1.
Artaud, Antonin, Collcctcd Works, Vol. 5, trans. Victor Corti, Iondon: Caldcr,
Of intcrcst for 'Corrcspondcncc with Andrc Brcton', thc Surrcalist chicftain
who clbowcd out thc rathcr morc than Surrcalist Artaud from thc movcmcnt.
Artaud, Antonin, Collcctcd Works, Vol. 6, trans. Victor Corti, Iondon: Caldcr,
(As this bibliography gocs to print, both this volumc and volumc 5 havc not
yct bccn rc-issucd in thc most up-to-datc Caldcr cataloguc, a 1999-2000 print
run which has hit somc dclays.)
Othcr cditions
Artaud, Antonin, An1on1n Ar1aud An1o1oyy (cd. Jack Hirschman), San
Francisco: City Iights Books, 1965
A sclcction of pocms and cssays.
Artaud, Antonin, Tc Ccnc1, trans. Simon Watson 1aylor, Iondon: Caldcr &
Boyars, 1969
51CT1CA 7
,4)) "
Artaud, Antonin, Tc Tca1rc and 11 ou1c, trans. Mary C Richards, Ncw
York: Grovc Prcss/Atlantic, 1972
Artaud, Antonin, Tc Tca1rc and 11 ou1c, trans. Victor Corti and Alastair
Hamilton, Iondon: Caldcr, 1995
Artaud, Antonin, Tc 1cyo1c ancc, trans. Hclcn Wcavcr, Ncw York: Farrar,
Straus & Giroux, 1975
1hc fruits of Artaud's disturbing 1936 trip to Mcxico in scarch of thc
1arahumaras and thcir ritualistic dancc.
Artaud, Antonin, 1our Tcx1, trans. Clayton Eshlcman and Norman Glass, Ios
Angclcs: Panjandrum Books, 1982
Contains To Havc onc W11 1c Judycncn1 oT God.
Artaud, Antonin, 5c1cc1cd Wr111ny (cd. Susan Sontag), trans. Hclcn Wcavcr,
Ios Angclcs: Univcrsity of California Prcss, 1988
Artaud, Antonin, Wa1cT1cnd and 6ocR 5crcan. WorR Tron 1c 11na1
1cr1od, trans. Clayton Eshlcman with Bcrnard Bador, Boston: Exact Changc,
Anothcr volumc which includcs a translation of thc controvcrsial radio play To
Havc onc W11 1c Judycncn1 oT God.
Artaud, Antonin, Tc ca1 oT 5a1an, trans. V Corti, Iondon: Caldcr, 1996
,4)) #
Onc of thc dangcrs of thc World Widc Wcb is that anybody can say whatcvcr thcy
plcasc about anything at all. It is an unrcgulatcd mass of opinions, somc
wondcrfully acadcmic, somc wocfully shoddy and infantilc. Many arc,
unsurprisingly, in bctwccn. It is dcmocracy in virtual action.
Wcbsitcs havc a habit of changing addrcsscs, changing namcs, changing contcnt
or disappcaring complctcly. 1his is thc naturc of thc Intcrnct, this bibliography
offcrs somc sitcs as cxamplcs of what cxistcd at thc timc of going to print.
1yping 'Artaud' or '1hcatrc of Cruclty' into your scarch cnginc can throw up
many uscful and intcrcsting sitcs. It can also lcad you to numcrous lcagucs or
associations campaigning against cruclty to animals all ovcr thc world, a lcttcr
from a Yugoslavian actrcss asking Glcnda Jackson to stop thc NA1O bombing of
hcr homcland bccausc Bclgradc had bccomc a 'thcatrc of cruclty', musicians or
industrial magnatcs whosc namcs arc also Artaud, twcnty-six cntrics taking you to
thc samc sitc (and it is always onc with no English languagc vcrsion), ctc. On thc
Nct you must lcarn to bc paticnt - bccausc nobody can hcar you scrcam.
Amcrican, Canadian and Australian univcrsitics all lovc sharing information or
blowing thcir own trumpcts, dcpcnding on your point of vicw. British acadcmia
maintains an almost ccric silcncc, as if to broadcast thcir idcas is somchow to
dcvaluc thcm.
Much of what cxists is not linkcd to any acadcmic institution. 1his nccd not
ncccssarily provc a dangcr, though it usually is. Iook out for rcfcrccd articlcs
(thosc scrutiniscd by othcr acadcmics and givcn thc quality-assurcd 'all clcar') -
though thcsc arc oftcn in sitcs to which you must subscribc. Plug in your
modcm, dial up your providcr (or ISP), ignorc all thc amcricaniscd spclling and
punch in thosc wcbsitc addrcsscs (or URIs).
1hcrc is a grcat dcal of tcdious nonscnsc out thcrc in cybcrspacc but thcrc is
also a grcat dcal to admirc and cnjoy. Happy hunting.
A sitc maintaincd by Arnaud Hubcrt and dcdicatcd as a rcsourcc for all who
admirc or study Artaud's lifc and work.
1hcrc arc two main scctions: a Documcnts and a Rubriqucs scction. 1hc
Documcnts (many of which arc in Frcnch) scction includcs a shortcncd
vcrsion of an MA disscrtation submittcd to thc Univcrsity of Birmingham in
51CT1CA 2
,4)) $
1995 by Gcrard Paul Sharpling titlcd 'Artaud's 1hcatrc of Cruclty and thc
family romancc: somc prcliminary thoughts', which attcmpts to link or, at
lcast, rcducc thc distinction bctwccn, Artaud's lifc and his work. Sharpling
docs this with rcfcrcncc to Frcud's conccpt of thc 'family romancc'. A fairly
intcrcsting rcad.
1hc Documcnts scction also contains '1hc Rcinvcntion of thc Human Facc' by
Donald Gardncr - a scrics of talks givcn by thc actor and poct in Amstcrdam
in 1987, which is both long and flowcry and full of admiration. You can also
download thc first two minutcs of thc rccording 'Pour finir avcc lc jugcmcnt
dc Dicu' and listcn to Artaud's voicc.
1hc Rubriqucs scction has various hcadings: 'Ncws' is currcntly a painting of
Artaud by Grcgory Blin, but thcrc is also acccss to prcvious ncws itcms, a good
bibliography and links to othcr sitcs. 1hc 'Who is Artaud?' and chronological
biography pagcs arc still undcr construction.
'Mad As Hcll: Antonin Artaud's picturcs from a psychiatric institution' postcd
hcrc in thc 51a1c archivcs in Octobcr 1996 by Iuc Santc. 51a1c is an onlinc
satirical/political/cultural magazinc (or 'czinc').
1his vcry lucid and informativc articlc accompanicd an cxhibition of Artaud's
drawings (somc rcproduccd on this sitc) titlcd 'Antonin Artaud: Works on
Papcr' at thc Muscum of Modcrn Art, Ncw York, from Octobcr 1996 to January
1997. An cxtrcmcly intcrcsting sitc.
'1hc Grcatcst 1hing of All: 1hc Virtual Rcality of 1hcatcr' by Samucl Wcbcr -
Profcssor Wcbcr's long discussion of Artaud's work and its mcaning today.
Samucl M Wcbcr is Profcssor of English and Comparativc Iitcraturc at thc
Univcrsity of California, Ios Angclcs, and Dircctor of thc Paris Program in
Critical 1hcory. Wcll worth a look.
Also at this univcrsity, you can find a bibliography, a slidcshow gallcry,
cxtracts from Artaud's works and links to othcr sitcs on thc slightly diffcrcnt
addrcss: http://www.hydra.umn.cdu/artaud/ab.html
'Antonin Artaud' by Susan Sontag - placcd on thc wcb, with libcral sprinklings
of Artaud rcfcrcnccs, in 1995 by a studcnt namcd 'Iaura'. Art-slab (or Arts-lab)
is part of thc Dcpartmcnt of Visual Arts at thc Univcrsity of California, San
,4)) %
Exctcr Univcrsity Drama Dcpartmcnt's production of Tcrc 1 Ao Morc
11rnancn1 by Artaud, pcrformcd by 2nd ycar Drama studcnts in Dcccmbcr
Dircctor Stcphcn Hodgc providcs a programmc notc which cxplains a littlc of
thc gcncsis of thc work and thcrc arc also production stills and links to othcr
'Artaud biography ragcs around Paris' (ratcd with thrcc-and-a-half stars) by
Moc Spcnccr. 1his is a rcvicw of Gcrard Mordillat's film 'My Iifc and 1imcs
with Antonin Artaud' ('En Compagnic d'Antonin Artaud'). It comcs from thc
Arts and Entcrtainmcnt scction of '1hc Ricc 1hrcshcr' (an onlinc magazinc
publishcd by Ricc Univcrsity), issuc of 29 March 1996. Moc likcd it.
1hc sitc of WFMU, an indcpcndcnt radio station in Ncw York. 1his pagc
contains an articlc takcn from Alan Wciss's 'Radio, Dcath and thc Dcvil', in
Tc W1rc1c 1nay1na11on. 5ound 6ad1o and 1c Avan1 Gardc, cditcd by D
Kahn and G Whitchcad.
1his is a bricf dcscription of Artaud's final work, To Havc onc W11 Tc
Judycncn1 oT God, and thc undcrstandablc furorc which surroundcd it - and
onc docs not nccd to bc an apologist for, or fanatical followcr of, Artaud to
undcrstand why thcrc was a furorc.
1hc subjcct mattcr includcd obsccnitics, anti-Catholicisms (ncvcr a clcvcr
thing to do in Francc), anti-Amcricanisms (which was particularly scnsitivc in
political circlcs, bcing such a short timc aftcr thc libcration of Francc and thc
cnd of thc 1939-45 war) and God appcaring as an organ on an autopsy tablc.
Its last-minutc banning by thc dircctor of Frcnch Radio hclpcd fucl thc flamcs,
as did thc vocifcrous support for thc work among thc artistic community and
thc rcsignation, in protcst against this ccnsorship, of thc dircctor of dramatic
and litcrary broadcasts who had commissioncd thc piccc in 1947.
Artaud dicd a fcw wccks latcr.
Part of thc 'Art Minimal & Conccptual Only' wcbsitc which includcs pagcs on
many artists, including Man Ray, Marccl Duchamp, Jamcs 1urrcll, Brucc
Nauman, 1hc Gucrilla Girls and othcrs.
,4)) &
1his pagc has cxccrpts from Artaud's idcas on thc plaguc in big rcd capital
lcttcrs against a rcpcatcd black and whitc photograph of him.
In thc samc sitc, rc-typc a diffcrcnt pagc - http://mcmbcrs.aol.com/
mindwcbart2/pagc10.htm - and it will takc you to Anas Nin's vcrsion of
cvcnts in April 1933 whcn Artaud gavc his famous talk on pcrformancc of '1hc
1hcatrc and thc Plaguc' at thc Sorbonnc.
Still anothcr pagc of this sitc - http://mcmbcrs.aol.com/mindwcbart2/
pagc101.htm - will takc you to Artaud's 'Manifcsto in a Clcar Ianguagc'.
'A Ncw Sccnc Sccn Ancw: Rcprcscntation and Cruclty in Dcrrida's Artaud' by
Colin Russcll.
A long cssay which fundamcntally says Dcrrida uscs Artaud to support his
thcorics on dcconstruction.
1hc Artaud pagc of a vcry strangc sitc indccd. A sort of cross bctwccn
philosophy football shirts and a fantasy football lcaguc, but for Amcricans.
1hc Cosmic Bascball Association is a sclf-profcsscd art cxhibition-cum-
cducational rcsourcc with biographics, links and bibliographics for all its
playcrs. Artaud was thc pitchcr for thc Edcn Bohcmians in 1998, somc of his
tcam-matcs wcrc Gcorgc Orwcll (outficld), Simonc dc Bcauvoir (tcam owncr),
William Makcpcacc 1hackcray (coach), Ccrvantcs (shortstop) and Franz Kafka
Anothcr apprcciation sitc with quotations of Artaud's, picturcs and links to
othcr rclatcd sitcs, c.g., on Dcrrida, Foucault, Dada, Surrcalism, ctc.
1hc homc of 'Flightlcss Hummingbird: a pscudo pcriodical' which aims to
contain various itcms on Art, Paranoia, Eschatology and Fashion 1ips. You
won't find much scnsc hcrc but thcn that's thc wholc point, of coursc.
If you prcfcr to go straight to thc Artaud scction of this labyrinthinc sitc, typc
thc slightly diffcrcnt addrcss - http://www-pcrsonal.umich.cdu/-rmutt/
dictionary/NoMorcWords.html - which takcs you to thc 'No Morc Words'
Surrcalist wcbsitc (which, strangcly, is full of words). 1his is a collcction of
quotations/statcmcnts on various topics - Artaud's is on Surrcalism.
,4)) '
1hc homc of '1catro Antonin Artaud', Ascona, Switzcrland. Foundcd in 1969 by
Michcl and (thc latc) Michclc Polctti, dcdicatcd to thc scarch for a thcatrc of
imagcs and fantasy through thc usc of puppcts, shadows and masks. Its shows
arc dcsigncd for both adults and childrcn and havc tourcd far and widc.
A short biography and somc of Artaud's (untranslatcd) pocms.
A sitc dcdicatcd to Artaud. A collcction of links.
1hc Encyclopacdia Britannica's cntry for '1hcatrc of Cruclty' with links to
rclatcd cntrics in thc cncyclopacdia and to othcr Intcrnct sitcs.
KickArts Collcctivc Incorporatcd, of Cairns, Quccnsland, Australia. 1his sitc
has bccn lcft bchind aftcr thc Novcmbcr 1997 cxhibition and pcrformancc of
Sharmilla Nczovic's 'IOCO - lcvcls of consciousncss'. Nczovic chosc a tcxt by
Artaud to cxplorc spatial rclationships and human gcsturc.
From thc Intcrnct Scction, Institutc of English Studics at thc Univcrsity of
Warsaw, Poland (in association with 1hc British Council). 1his pagc contains
'Aspccts of thc 1hcatrc of Cruclty in Waiting for Godot'. It includcs a bricf
outlinc of Artaud's idcas and thc vcry bricf and unconvincing cxamination of
thc titlc.
1aqucya Yamashita is a Japancsc artist who dcclarcs hc is inspircd by Artaud
and this is his sitc. A sclcction of his work is availablc to vicw and will soon
includc a spccific Artaud scction (currcntly undcr construction). 1hc
following addition to thc wcbsitc's addrcss will takc you to a list of thc
complctc works of Artaud by titlc in Frcnch - http://www2.gol.com/uscrs/
A pagc from thc sitc 'a patti smith babcloguc'. 1his sitc is dcvotcd to thc
singcr Patti Smith and hcr many influcnccs, Artaud bcing mcrcly onc.
A Stanford Univcrsity sitc dcdicatcd to thc Gcrman chorcographcr Pina Bausch
whosc influcnccs arc cclcctic and includc Artaud. 1hc sitc contains rcvicws,
photos, bibliography, information on hcr lifc and works, and links to othcr
A dcath mctal band which takcs its namc from Artaud's thcatrc.
1hcrc is a thcatrc in San Francisco which takcs its namc from Artaud. 1his is
its homcpagc.
Somc of thc many sitcs which publish 1crry Pratchctt's short story '1hcatrc of
Anscll-Pcarson, Kcith (cd.), A1111n Aov1. non1cr oT cncryy, Iondon:
Macmillan, 2000
A volumc of cssays cclcbrating Nictzschc and nihilism. Dalc's cssay, 'Artaud
and thc importancc of bcing rudc' is a divcrting rcad.
Banks, R A and Marson, P, rana and Tca1rc Ar1, Iondon: Hoddcr &
Stoughton (rcv.), 1998
A handy tcxtbook, giving a survcy of thcatrical pcriods, and including a short
but uscful introduction to Artaud, his idcas and practicc.
Barbcr, Stcphcn, An1on1n Ar1aud. 1ov and on, Iondon: Fabcr & Fabcr,
A biography which sccms to bc a littlc dclibcratcly Artaudian itsclf. Wcll
rcscarchcd and vcry much thc work of an admircr.
Barbcr, Stcphcn, Ar1aud. Tc 5crcan1ny ody, Iondon: Crcation Books,
A focus on thc non-thcatrical works - films, drawings, and rccordings. Barbcr's
opcning chaptcr on film includcs a vivid rccounting of thc gcncsis, cxccution
and rcccption of Dulac's film of Artaud's sccnario '1hc Scashcll and thc
Clcrgyman'. It gocs on to givc a vital discussion of Artaud's idcas and
cxpcricncc of cincma and thc film industry.
Similarly, Barbcr's third chaptcr on rccordings contains a wcalth of matcrial
on To Havc onc W11 Tc Judycncn1 oT God and placcs it vcry firmly in its
historical and social contcxt. A finc rcsourcc for a fullcr picturc of Artaud.
Barthcs, Roland, 1nayc-nu1c-1cx1, Iondon: Mcthucn, 1982
Barthcs, Roland, My1o1oy1c, Iondon: Vintagc, 1993
A rcprint of thc 1972 English-languagc publication by Jonathan Capc of thc
1957 Frcnch original. Barthcs' undcrstanding of 'myth' is complcx and not,
pcrhaps, onc wc would associatc with cithcr Artaud's or our own commonly
dcfincd undcrstanding. It is not, howcvcr, vcry far rcmovcd.
Along with thc books citcd in this bibliography by Jacqucs Dcrrida (and morc,
by Foucault, Icvi-Strauss, Baudrillard, ctc., could havc bccn citcd), thcsc
philosophical works ccntrc on thc dcbatcs conccrning rcprcscntations of
rcality and languagc as a systcm of signs. Many of thc Frcnch philosophcrs
makc rcfcrcncc to Artaud bccausc of his own conccrns in this arca.
'Myth', for Barthcs, is many things: a languagc itsclf, a pscudo-scicntific
justification of racism, Nazism, consumcrism, ctc. 'Myth' is not of thc
anthropological but of thc political typc which, historically, has asscrtcd and
attcmptcd to lcgitimisc (and for a vcry long timc succcssfully lcgitimiscd)
outragcous fantasics - so much so, thcy bccomc 'common scnsc' assumptions
- such as Bcngal mcn arc cffcminatc and thcrcforc it is justifiablc to subjugatc
and rulc thcm bccausc thcy arc too wcak to rulc thcmsclvcs, or womcn's
brains arc smallcr and thcrcforc thcy arc lcss intclligcnt and should not bc
allowcd to go to univcrsitics, or black mcn havc an 'innatc' propcnsity to
bcnd thcir knccs and thcrcforc makc natural slavcs.
Structuralists frowncd upon misrcadings, such as Artaud's of thc Balincsc
danccrs. 1hc 'sign systcm' that Artaud thought hc was rcading was not placcd
into any contcxtual 'wholc', and thcrcforc hc could not undcrstand it
corrcctly. Mcaning is fixcd and stablc. Post-structuralists considcrcd thcsc
'rcadings of rcadings' flawcd and almost fascistic, and that mcaning was
shifting and unstablc. Post-modcrnists rc-introduccd thc idca that thc
fragmcnts that makc up thc 'wholc' should bc cxamincd - thcy havc mcaning
in thcir own right. So, Artaud's 'misundcrstanding' is no such thing, but is,
rathcr fashionablc again.
1hcsc tcxts may bc somcwhat difficult and possibly considcrcd only tcnuously
linkcd to a study of Artaud's practicc, but thcy arc rclcvant to thc thcorctical
framcwork within which hc tricd to work and his idcas havc significantly
influcnccd thc post-war intcllcctual dcvclopmcnt of Francc and, thcrcforc,
contcmporary social and philosophical thought. By no mcans a ncccssary
addition to studcnts' workload but a dircction in which somc may want to go
if intcrcstcd.
Bcntlcy, Eric (cd.), Tc Tcory oT 1c Modcrn 51ayc. An 1n1roduc11on 1o
Modcrn Tca1rc and rana, Harmondsworth: Pcnguin, 1968
Contains Paul Goodman's 'Obscsscd by 1hcatrc' which, likc Inncs (Ho1y
Tca1rc, scc p 17), points out how Artaud misrcad thc naturc of thc Balincsc
dancc drama.
Bcrmcl, Albcrt, Ar1aud` Tca1rc oT Cruc11y, Ncw York: 1aplingcr Publishing,
Bcrmcl, Albcrt, Con1rad1c1ory Carac1cr. an 1n1crprc1a11on oT 1c nodcrn
1ca1rc, Evanston, II: Northwcstcrn Univcrsity Prcss, 1996
A ncw cdition. 1urn to Part 3 and '1hc Drcamcr as Mankind - 1hc Fountain of
Blood, Antonin Artaud' (anothcr variant translation).
,4)) !
Bildcr, Erica (cd.), Tcandr1c. Ju11an ccR` 1a1 Ao1cooR, Ncwark, NJ:
Harwood Acadcmic Publishcrs, 1992
Julian Bcck and Judith Malina ran thc Iiving 1hcatrc, a vcritablc hothousc of
cxpcrimcntal thcatrc. Scc thc scction 'On Artaud'.
Birnbaum, Hcnrik and Eckman, 1homas (cds), 11c11on and rana 1n 1a1crn
and 5ou1ca1crn 1uropc. 1vo1u11on and 1xpcr1ncn1 1n 1c 1o1var 1cr1od,
Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishcrs, Indiana Univcrsity, 1980
1hc cssay 'Echocs of thc 1hcatcr of thc Absurd and thc '1hcatcr of Cruclty' in
Contcmporary Iithuania' by 1omas Vcnclova may bc of minor intcrcst.
Bradby, David, Modcrn 1rcnc rana 7940-79B0, Cambridgc: Cambridgc
Univcrsity Prcss, 1984
A chronological survcy of thc pcriod, primarily focuscd on playwrights but
also providing a good, dctailcd look at movcmcnts, dircctors, actors and
thcatrc companics.
1his book is bcst uscd to cxaminc how Artaud's lifc and work influcnccd
othcrs. As Bradby points out in his Introduction, Artaud was no longcr an
activc thcatrc practitioncr in thc pcriod covcrcd by this book.
Bradby gocs on to show Artaud's influcncc on Blin and Adamov and 1hc Ncw
1hcatrc - which cvcntually lcd to Ioncsco, Bcckctt and Gcnct (thcsc lattcr
playwrights, Bradby statcs, owc lcss to Artaud than somc havc assumcd or
Hc also discusscs Planchon's intcrcst in both Artaud and Brccht, Barrault's
cxpcrimcnts with thc actor's body, thc lack of Artaud's conccpt of 'cruclty' in
thc plays of Vauthicr, Audibcrti and Arrabal, and Artaud's ovcrall influcncc on
thc wholc cra.
Brandt, Gcorgc W (cd.), Modcrn Tcor1c oT rana. A 5c1cc11on oT Wr111ny
on rana and Tca1rc 7B40-7990, Oxford: Oxford Univcrsity Prcss, 1998
1his valuablc rcsourcc contains Artaud's '1hc 1hcatrc of Cruclty: First
Manifcsto' and 'An End to Mastcrpicccs'. It also includcs Alfrcd Jarry's 'On thc
Futility of thc 1hcatrical in thc 1hcatrc', and Guillaumc Apollinairc's
'Prcfacc and Prologuc to 1hc Brcasts of 1ircsias'.
Braun, Edward, Tc 1rcc1or and 1c 51ayc, Iondon: Mcthucn, 1982
An invaluablc rcsourcc for thc wholc coursc and particularly this unit,
rcgardlcss of which practitioncr you havc choscn. A broad, outstanding
ovcrvicw of thc risc to promincncc of thc dircctor sincc thc latc ninctccnth
,4)) "
As thc ncarcst thing you will find to a coursc rcadcr, it will introducc studcnts
to thc work of Mciningcn, Antoinc, thc Symbolists, Jarry, Stanislavski, Craig,
Rcinhardt, Mcycrhold, Piscator, Brccht, Artaud and Grotowski.
Brcton, Andrc, 5urrca11n and 1a1n11ny, trans. Simon Watson 1aylor,
Iondon: Macdonald, 1972
Brcton, Andrc, Man1Tc1o oT 5urrca11n, trans. Richard Scavcr and Hclcn R
Ianc, Ann Arbor, MI: Univcrsity of Michigan Prcss, 1974
Brcton, Andrc, Wa1 1 5urrca11n 5c1cc1cd Wr111ny, cditcd by F Roscmont,
Iondon: Pluto, 1978
Brook, Pctcr, Tc 1np1y 5pacc, Harmondsworth: Pcnguin, 1972
A scminal tcxt for modcrn thcatrc workcrs. Brook was instrumcntal in thc
1960s rc-asscssmcnt of Artaud and this carly tcxt givcs somc pointcrs to
Brook's fcclings about him at this timc.
Brustcin, Robcrt, Tc Tca1rc oT 6cvo11. An Approac 1o 1c Modcrn rana,
Iondon: Mcthucn, 1965
A vcry cntcrtaining rcad, linking Artaud with Gcnct, but which somc latcr
critics find lcss than convincing.
Chambcrs, Ross, Apcc1 oT rana and Tca1rc, Sydncy: Sydncy Univcrsity
Prcss, 1965
Scc 'Antonin Artaud and thc contcmporary Frcnch 1hcatrc', pp.113-42.
Coopcr, S and Mackcy, S, Tca1rc 51ud1c. An Approac Tor Advanccd 1cvc1,
Chcltcnham: Stanlcy 1horncs, 1996
A vcry uscful tcxtbook indccd, cxamining thcatrical mcaning, thc proccss of
prcscntation, historical contcxt, tcxtual analysis and contcmporary
Part 4.3 is of spccial intcrcst to studcnts of Artaud, as it contains a chronology
of his lifc, a biography, an cxtrcmcly uscful survcy of Artaud's thcory and
practicc, brokcn into hcadings (and with idcas for practical, workshop
cxcrciscs): 1hc 1hcatrc and its Doublc, Mctaphysics, 1hc Plaguc, Cruclty, 1hc
Doublc, 1hc 1hcatrc of Cruclty (which includcs staging, lighting, sound,
film), Sccnarios, Ianguagc, Ritual, Influcnccs (Surrcalism, Jarry), Followcrs
(Brook, Gcnct, Amcricans, Grotowski, Shaffcr, Bcrkoff).
1his is an cxccllcnt introduction to a vcry tricky subjcct and wcll worth
,4)) #
Craig, S (cd.), rcan and ccon1ruc11on. a11crna11vc 1ca1rc 1n r11a1n,
Ambcrgatc: Ambcr Ianc Prcss, 1980
A thoroughly cntcrtaining and wcll illustratcd book on thc frantic thcatrical
activity of 1970s Britain - from thc influcnccs of Artaud to thosc of Brccht, on
political thcatrc to thc fringc, community thcatrc, thcatrc-in-cducation,
writcrs and pcrformancc art.
Dclgado, M M and Hcritagc, P (cds), 1n Con1ac1 v11 1c God. 1rcc1or 1a1R
Tca1rc, Manchcstcr: Manchcstcr Univcrsity Prcss, 1996
A vcry intcrcsting look at many contcmporary dircctors and thcir influcnccs,
thcorics and practicc.
Dcrrida, Jacqucs, Wr111ny and 1TTcrcncc, trans. Alan Bass, Chicago, II:
Univcrsity of Chicago Prcss, 1978
Scc '1hc 1hcatrc of Cruclty and thc Closurc of Rcprcscntation', pp.232-50.
Dcrrida, Jacqucs and 1hcvcnin, Paulc, Tc 5ccrc1 Ar1 oT An1on1n Ar1aud,
trans. Mary Ann Caws, Cambridgc, MA: MI1 Prcss, 2000
An cxamination of his work by Frcnch dcconstructionists/poststructuralists.
Not at all casy.
Dcrrida's intcrcst in Artaud is, though, fairly straightforward to undcrstand
(it's just his manncr of saying so which is hcllishly confusing). For thosc
intcrcstcd in trying to grasp thc work of Dcrrida, a good introduction would
bc crr1da by Christophcr Johnson (Iondon: Phocnix, 1997). Artaud's
conccrn with a systcm of communication, or notation, subjugating thc writtcn
word to a ncw sign systcm, is at thc hcart of thc dcbatcs in Dcrrida's ficld.
Dc Zoctc, Bcryl and Spics, Waltcr, ancc and rana 1n a11, Oxford:
Oxford Univcrsity Prcss, 1938
An anthropological study.
Dochcrty, Brian (cd.), Tvcn11c1-Ccn1ury 1uropcan rana, Iondon:
Macmillan, 1993
A scrics of cssays which covcr Pirandcllo, Brccht, Bcckctt, Artaud, Fo, Ramc,
ctc. Iook for two cssays: Knapp's on thc 1hcatrc of Cruclty, and Holdcrncss's
on thc Wciss/Brook Mara15adc.
Esslin, M, Tca1rc oT 1c Aurd, Iondon: Pcnguin, 1988
Endlcssly rc-issucd (onc is duc from Mcthucn in 2001), Esslin's book contains
what is csscntially thc cntirc history of thc thcatrical avant-gardc which hc has
clcvcrly rc-titlcd '1hcatrc of thc Absurd'. Still, hc has madc a lot of moncy out
of it and it is a good history.
,4)) $
Esslin, M, An1on1n Ar1aud. Tc Man and H1 WorR, Iondon: Caldcr
Publications, 1976
Esslin's biography of Artaud is vcry rcadablc and at timcs quitc cntcrtaining. It
is also vcry comprchcnsivc in its dcpiction of cvcnts and fairly uscful in its
outlinc of Artaud's thcory and practicc. Worth a fcw hours of any studcnt's
Flctchcr, John (cd.), 1orcc 1n nodcrn 1rcnc drana, Iondon: Iondon
Univcrsity Prcss, 1972
Gascoync, David, A 5or1 5urvcy oT 5urrca11n, Iondon: Enitharmon, 2000
A rcprint of thc 1935 cdition.
Goodall, Janc, Ar1aud and 1c Gno11c rana, Oxford: Oxford Univcrsity
Prcss, 1994
Gordon, Mcl (cd.), ada 1crTornancc, Baltimorc: Pcrforming Arts Journal
Books, 1hc Johns Hopkins Univcrsity Prcss, 1987
Grccnc, Naomi, An1on1n Ar1aud. 1oc1 W11ou1 Word, Ncw York: Simon &
Schustcr, 1970
Grotowski, Jcrzy, Tovard a 1oor Tca1rc, Iondon: Mcthucn, 1968
Grotowski's work in thc 1960s was ground-brcaking and owcd a grcat dcbt to
thc idcas of Artaud. For instancc, Grotowski's work on thc 'rcsonators' in thc
body in thc training of an actor's vocal work is influcnccd by Artaud's 'An
affcctivc athlcticism' (scc Tc Tca1rc and 11 ou1c).
Onc of Grotowski's cssays in thc book, 'Hc Wasn't Entircly Himsclf', is a
tcndcr and acutc obscrvation of Artaud, morc particularly, of Artaud's gcncral
philosophy on thc 'salvation' of man through thcatrc - cvcn though
Grotowski rccogniscs a ccntral 'paradox': that is, Artaud's vision of thcatrc is
complctcly unrcalisablc.
Guicharnaud, Jacqucs and Junc, Modcrn 1rcnc 1ca1rc Tron G1raudoux 1o
Gcnc1, Ncw Havcn, C1 and Iondon: Yalc Univcrsity Prcss, (rcv.) 1967
Harrison, Charlcs and Wood, Paul (cds), Ar1 1n Tcory 7900-7990. An
An1o1oyy oT Cany1ny 1dca, Oxford: Blackwcll, 1992
A rcal door-stoppcr of a volumc which contains a comprchcnsivc collcction of
sclcctcd writings on art and art thcory. For dipping into, of coursc, but it can
also providc a valuablc history of thc idcas which shapcd artistic practicc
during thc twcnticth ccntury.
,4)) %
Hayman, R, Ar1aud and AT1cr, Oxford: Oxford Univcrsity Prcss, 1977
Contains a rcadablc account of thc topic and includcs a chronology and
Hcndcrson, John, Tc T1r1 avan1-yardc, Iondon: Harrap, 1971
Hunt, Albcrt and Rccvcs, Gcoffrcy, 1c1cr rooR 1rcc1or 1n 1crpcc11vc),
Cambridgc: Cambridgc Univcrsity Prcss, 1995
A chroniclc of Brook's carccr. Iook at '1hc Embracing of Artaud: thc 1hcatrc
of Cruclty' for a study of Brook's cxpcrimcnts in this ficld.
Huxlcy, Michacl and Witts, Nocl (cds), Tc Tvcn11c1-Ccn1ury 1crTornancc
6cadcr, Iondon: Routlcdgc, 1996
1urn to Chaptcr 1hrcc and thc scction on Artaud's 1hcatrc of Cruclty. A good
book, gcncrally.
Inncs, C, Ho1y Tca1rc. 611ua1 and 1c Avan1 Gardc, Cambridgc: Cambridgc
Univcrsity Prcss, 1981
By no mcans an casy book duc to thc thcorctical background bcing such an
important aspcct of work in thc avant gardc (and thc attcmpt to rationalisc it),
but having said that, this is a first-ratc, difficult book which will challcngc
studcnts and offcr a comprchcnsivc vicw of its subjcct mattcr.
Ritual is an absolutcly crucial aspcct of Artaud's wholc philosophy. Add to this
thc othcr conccrns of Inncs' argumcnt - myth, drcams and thc 'irrational'
subconscious - and it is clcar Artaud is not such a loosc cannon in thc
thcatrical avant gardc aftcr all.
1hc wholc of Chaptcr 1hrcc is dcvotcd to 'Antonin Artaud and thc 1hcatrc of
Cruclty', cxamining thcory, practicc, form, thcmc, film, thc contcxt within
which Artaud workcd and thc movcmcnts and pcoplc whosc influcnccs
shapcd his own cxpcrimcnts. Oscar Kokoschka is suggcstcd as a strong
influcncc on Artaud, and Inncs shows how somc dcsign clcmcnts of Artaud's
production of Tc Ccnc1 can bc traccd to Kokoschka's skctchcs.
Tc Ccnc1 itsclf is givcn vcry uscful scrutiny in this chaptcr, as Inncs draws on
Artaud's prompt copy to illustratc what occurrcd during thc bricf run of thc
Inncs is gcncrous in his appraisal of Artaud's aims and succcsscs, hc is also
vcry good at pointing up thc wcakncsscs and failurcs of Artaud's thcory and
practicc - his misundcrstanding of thc Balincsc danccrs, for instancc, or his
inability to crcatc thc political impact hc had intcndcd.
,4)) &
Chaptcr Onc, '1hc politics of primitivism', givcs a clcar and intcrcsting
account of thc Balincsc dancc drama and also Artaud's undcrstanding of it
(not corrcct, in Inncs' vicw) and usc of it in his futurc thcory and practicc.
Artaud's influcncc on Jcan-Iouis Barrault's 'total thcatrc' and Pctcr Brook's
(with Charlcs Marowitz) carly cxpcrimcnts at IAMDA in 1964, arc also
thoroughly cxamincd, as is thc work of Jcan Gcnct, Jcrzy Grotowski and
othcrs - with intcrcsting illustrations and picturcs throughout.
Inncs, C, Avan1 Gardc Tca1rc, Iondon: Routlcdgc, 1993
A comprchcnsivc look at Artaud - and othcrs, of coursc. Inncs is a lcading
writcr on thc subjcct who is always worth rcading.
Knapp, Bcttina I, An1on1n Ar1aud. Man oT 111on, Chicago and Iondon:
Swallow Prcss, 1980
A rc-issuc (from 1969) of a wcll rcad favouritc (with a Prcfacc by Anas Nin).
Knapp, Bcttina I, 1rcnc Tca1rc 797B-799, Iondon: Macmillan, 1985
Onc of thc lcss satisfactory volumcs of a vcry good scrics of tcxts, though
ultimatcly worth rcading. Knapp sccms to bc trappcd by a dcsirc to brcak
down thc pcriod into scctions on pcoplc - 1zara, Brcton, Coctcau, Claudcl,
ctc., - and thcn attcmpts to climb out of thc trap by organising thcsc pcoplc
into movcmcnts, stylcs or gcnrcs - Dada, Surrcalism, Satirc, Mythic, ctc.
1hc troublc is thcrc was so much crossovcr by thcsc artists and no littlc
confusion causcd by thc naturc of thcir subjcct mattcr: it almost cocks a snook
at organisation and inhcrcntly dcfics a critic's attcmpts to offcr a
chronological, dcfinitivc cxplanation of what happcncd in Frcnch thcatrc
bctwccn thc wars.
Dada is not Surrcalism, thc 1hcatrc of Cruclty is ncithcr of thcsc, Artaud
workcd with Vitrac (a Surrcalist) but fcarcd thc Surrcalists and Brcton kickcd
him out anyway (probably bccausc hc fcarcd Artaud). And yct thcy all appcar
in Scction 1. On thc othcr hand, Paul Claudcl's 1ar1ayc dc M1d1 (rcaR oT
Aoon), which is givcn a long analysis and might wcll bc considcrcd an obvious
candidatc for Artaudian intcrprctation, appcars in Scction 3.
Howcvcr, this simplification could work fairly advantagcously for thc studcnt
wanting to look at Artaud in isolation, as Knapp's Chaptcr 4 (pp.63-83) docs.
Hcrc, thc clcmcnts of 'Cruclty' arc brokcn down and sccm rathcr casy to
follow - which is also a dangcr sign. 1hcrc is nothing 'casy to follow' about
,4)) '
Ncvcrthclcss, it sccms clcar that thc '1hcatrc of Cruclty' was influcnccd by
two Colonial Exhibitions at which Artaud obscrvcd thc danccrs of Cambodia
(Marscillcs, 1922) and, most significantly, Bali (Paris 1931). Furthcrmorc,
Knapp cxplains, its constitucnt parts arc:
Ritual - almost a sacrcd, rcligious ccrcmony,
A languagc of abstractions - through thc usc of gcsturc, props, chanting,
masks, lights, sound cffccts, ctc,
Vcry littlc rcliancc on thc spokcn word,
A spcctaclc to arousc thc scnscs and thc unconscious rathcr than conscious
Usc of myth, or what rcmains of myths as wc know thcm in thc industrialiscd
Wcstcrn bourgcois dcmocracics,
A clcansing and purifying of thc audicncc through thc mctaphysical
cxpcricncc of this thcatrc in prcparation for a kind of rcbirth.
Knapp's cxplanation of Artaud's dcfinition of 'cruclty' is also as simplificd as it
can bc: all lifc, all actions arc crucl bccausc thcy arc thc conscqucncc of bcing
cjcctcd from thc statc of unity inhcrcnt in thc unconscious. 1o bc conscious,
to livc, is crucl. Artaud's objcctivc was to find that original statc of
unconscious unity through thc action of this thcatrc, to climb back insidc
oncsclf, if you likc, on an inncr spiritual journcy. 1his philosophical corc has
clcar parallcls with various rcligious crcation myths.
Knapp thcn gocs on to possibly thc bcst part of this chaptcr: thc clcmcnts of
thc 1hcatrc of Cruclty (pp.71-5). 1his is a highly rccommcndcd scction and is
followcd by cxcmplification of thc thcory through two of Artaud's works: Tc
Jc1 oT 1ood (1925) - which is oftcn translatcd as Tc 5pur1 oT 1ood - and Tc
Ccnc1 (1935) (pp.76-80). Again, this makcs valuablc rcading. All in all, a uscful
introduction to Artaud, dcspitc thc structural dcficicncics of thc book as a
Knowlcs, Dorothy, 1rcnc rana oT 1c 1n1cr-var ycar 797B-9, Iondon:
Harrap, 1967
Kucnzli, Rudolf (cd.), ada and 5urrca111 111n, Cambridgc, MA: MI1 Prcss,
A collcction of cssays which covcr many of thc classic films ('Un Chicn
Andalou', 'I'Agc d'Or') and an cssay by Sandy Flittcrman-Icwis, '1hc Imagc
and thc Spark - Dulac and Artaud rcvicwcd', which is conccrncd with thc
silcnt short writtcn by Artaud in sccnario form, '1hc Scashcll and thc
Iabcllc, Mauricc Marc, A1Trcd Jarry. A1111n and 1c Tca1rc oT 1c Aurd,
Ncw York and Iondon: Ncw York Univcrsity Prcss, 1980
Icvitt, Anncttc S, Tc Gcnrc and Gcndcr oT 5urrca11n, Ncw York: St
Martin's Prcss, 1999
Scc thc scction on Artaud and Vitrac. 1hcrc is also discussion of Jcan
Coctcau's films and Andrc Brcton's AadJa.
Icvy, Silvano (cd.), 5urrca11n. urrca111 v1ua111y, Edinburgh: Kcclc
Univcrsity Prcss, 1996
Anothcr cxtcnsivc study. Its Artaud scction conccntratcs on thc silcnt scrccn.
McCann, John, Tc Tca1cr oT Ar1ur Adanov, Chapcl Hill, NC: Univcrsity of
North Carolina Prcss, 1975
Adamov was closc to Artaud and this study will rcvcal Adamov's practicc and
thc cxtcnt of Artaud's influcncc on it.
Marowitz, Charlcs, Ar1aud a1 6odcz, Iondon: Marion Boyars, 1977
Fundamcntally thc tcxt of Marowitz's play, this book is also of grcat intcrcst
for its othcr offcrings. Marowitz's bricf but pithy commcnts on Artaud in thc
Introduction arc important opinions for any practitioncr to takc on board.
1hc play itsclf is cntcrtaining, a quick rcad and has an amusing knowingncss
about its subjcct (scc thc Rcportcrs qucstioning Artaud about thc 1hctrc
Alfrcd Jarry playing only four programmcs, p.27). It also has a stark, blamc-
laying, qucstioning, non-vcrbal conclusion which might wcll bc worth somc
cxploration in a workshop cnvironmcnt.
1hc Appcndiccs arc cvcn morc intcrcsting. 1hc first scction constitutcs thrcc
convcrsations Marowitz had in 1966 with Dr Gaston Fcrdicrc (Artaud's
psychiatrist at Rodcz), Rogcr Blin and Arthur Adamov. In thc sccond scction
thcrc arc two articlcs from 1959: onc by Artaud's sistcr and thc othcr by
Fcrdicrc fcaturcs so promincntly, of coursc, bccausc thc play uscs thc conflict
bctwccn Artaud and Fcrdicrc as thc ccntral pivot which also symboliscs thc
conflict bctwccn poctry and scicncc, artistic invcntion and bourgcois
conscrvatism, thc 'irrational' and thc 'rational'.
Howcvcr, Marowitz, by including Fcrdicrc's own argumcnts, offcrs us thc
possibility to cmpathisc with thc doctor's dilcmma. It is difficult today, and in
particular in Britain, to gaugc thc impact Artaud had on thc Frcnch cultural
sccnc bcforc, during and aftcr thc 1939-45 war. Pcrhaps thc fact that much of
this brouhaha took placc during thc war distanccs us cvcn furthcr from thc
phcnomcnon that was - and is - Artaud.
1hcrc is morc than a hint of sadncss to bc glcancd by rcading thc articlc by
Artaud's sistcr, Maric-Angc MalaussZna, bcsidc Fcrdicrc's. 1hc squalid
accusations and countcr-accusations bclittlc Artaud's lifc and work, thc
'fricnds' of Artaud who sccm to havc 'lootcd' (MalaussZna's dcscription) his
posscssions on his dcathbcd furthcr complicatc opinions and cvcnts
surrounding Artaud's loncly and painful cnd.
1hc convcrsations with Blin and Adamov providc background and insight into
Artaud's lifc, pcrsonality, charisma and work - and, pcrhaps, a rcasoncd
cxplanation for thc so-callcd 'looting'.
1hat Artaud was of unstablc mind sccms fairly ccrtain. Iaughing in thc facc of
mcntal illncss is, of coursc, not a practicc onc would want to rccommcnd,
howcvcr tcmpting, in Artaud's casc, it may bc. Adamov allows us thc chancc to
scc thc funny sidc of lifc with thc poct, thcorist and somctimc practitioncr.
His dcscriptions of pcrformanccs - or 'programmcs of cntcrtainmcnt' - at thc
1hctrc Alfrcd Jarry arc gcms.
Both Artaud's dircction of Paul Claudcl's 1ar1ayc dc M1d1 and Artaud's own
pcrformancc of Strindbcrg's Tc rcan 11ay arc dcscribcd by Adamov in
hilarious, yct rcvcrcnt, tcrms and offcr thc studcnt a grcat dcal of insight into
Artaud's thcatrical world.
Adamov is also in agrccmcnt with Rogcr Blin - who latcr wcnt on to
cvcrlasting thcatrical famc as thc first dircctor of Bcckctt's 1n A11cndan1 Godo1
(Wa111ny Tor Godo1). Both mcn bclicvc Artaud's lcgacy is hugc, almost
impossiblc to dcfinc and cannot bc imitatcd. Now thcrc's a challcngc
Matthcws, J H, Tca1rc 1n ada and 5urrca11n, Syracusc, Ncw York:
Syracusc Univcrsity Prcss, 1974
Givcs an account of Artaud's rclationship with thcsc two movcmcnts.
Mclzcr, Annabcllc, ada and 5urrca111 1crTornancc, Baltimorc, MD:
Pcrforming Arts Journal Books, 1hc Johns Hopkins Univcrsity Prcss, 1994
Milling, Janc and Icy, Graham, Modcrn Tcor1c oT 1crTornancc. Tron
51an11avR1 1o oa1, Ncw York: St Martin's Prcss, 2000
1his cxplorcs thc thcorctical work - rathcr than thc practicc - of many
practitioncrs: Stanislavski, Appia, Craig, Mcycrhold, Copcau, Artaud,
Grotowski and Boal.
Mittcr, S, 5y1cn oT 6ccara1. 51an11avR1, rcc1, Gro1ovR1 and rooR,
Iondon: Routlcdgc, 1992
Chaptcr 2, '1o Bc and Not 1o Bc: Bcrtolt Brccht and Pctcr Brook', is uscful
mostly for thc influcncc which Brccht has had on Pctcr Brook and thc
rcaction against Brccht which Pctcr Brook has gonc through. 1his might
uscfully bc rcad in conjunction with Brook's carlicr work on Wciss's Mara1
5adc, a radical political piccc givcn an Artaudian production in thc 1960s.
Mothcrwcll, Robcrt (cd.), Tc ada 1a1n1cr and 1oc1. An An1o1oyy,
Cambridgc, MA and Iondon: Harvard Univcrsity Prcss (2nd cdn), 1989
Nadcau, Mauricc, Tc H11ory oT 5urrca11n, trans. Richard Howard,
Harmondsworth: Pcnguin, 1978
Nin, Anas, Tc Journa1 oT Ana1 A1n, Iondon: Pctcr Owcn, 1966-1974
A scrics of fivc volumcs, thcsc journals contain much of intcrcst. Nin and
Artaud cmbarkcd on a fricndship in 1933 - Artaud's intcrcst was somcwhat
diffcrcnt to Nin's, who wrotc that shc lovcd his madncss but could not
imaginc actually touching him - and it is hcr account of Artaud's lccturc on
thc 'Plaguc' at thc Sorbonnc in 1933 to which much critical attcntion has bccn
Pavis, Patricc, 1anyuayc oT 1c 51ayc. cay 1n 1c cn1o1oyy oT 1c
1ca1rc, Baltimorc, MD: Pcrforming Arts Journal Books, 1hc Johns Hopkins
Univcrsity Prcss, 1993
Scmiotic analysis may bc a fairly rcccnt phcnomcnon, but Pavis traccs and
cxplorcs thc issucs surrounding body languagc, signs and audicncc rcccption
as far back as thc Grccks through Artaud and bcyond.
Pctcr, John, 11ad1n1r` Carro1. Modcrn rana & Tc Modcrn 1nay1na11on,
Iondon: Mcthucn, 1987
An intcrcsting book which posits thc distinction bctwccn what Pctcr tcrms
'opcn' and 'closcd' art/tcxts. 'Opcn' forms sharc thcir world with thcir
audicncc (c.g. Macc1 and Go1), whilc 'closcd' forms havc an clcmcnt of
Artaud's thcatrc (along with that of Brccht, Mcycrhold and many othcrs) is a
thcatrc of manipulation and thosc who practicc thcsc kinds of thcatrc arc
littlc morc than dcspots and dictators.
In thc chaptcr 'Closc of Play: Stagcs and Dircctions', Pctcr dcfincs what hc
undcrstands to bc Artaud's thcory and thc intcnt of his practicc mostly in
accuratc, if ultimatcly disapproving, tcrms. Hc points out thc clcar influcncc
of Nictzschc on Artaud's thinking and likcns Artaud's proposals for thcatrc to
nothing lcss than a Nazi rally.
A uscful tcxt to givc an opposing, highly advcrsc apprcciation of Artaud's
,4)) !
Plunka, Gcnc, A (cd.), An1on1n Ar1aud and 1c Modcrn Tca1rc, Madison, NJ:
Fairlcigh Dickinson Univcrsity Prcss, 1994
A collcction of cssays. 1hc first half of thc book attcmpts to clarify Artaud's
thcorics and thc sccond half cxamincs thc influcncc Artaud has had on
Poggioli, Rcnato, Tc Tcory oT 1c Avan1-Gardc, Cambridgc, MA: Harvard
Univcrsity Prcss, 1968
A top-notch, if vcry advanccd, study which placcs thc avant-gardc as starting in
thc rcvolutionary political fcrvour of ninctccnth-ccntury Francc bcforc
moving into thc rcalms of artistic cndcavour.
Rcad, Hcrbcrt (cd.), 5urrca11n, Iondon: Fabcr & Fabcr, 1971
Richards, 1homas, A1 WorR W11 Gro1ovR1 Cn 1y1ca1 Ac11on, Iondon:
Routlcdgc, 1995
An account by Grotowski collaborator, Richards, which may providc somc
idcas as to how to translatc thcory into action.
Roosc-Evans, Jamcs, 1xpcr1ncn1a1 Tca1rc. 1ron 51an11avR1 1o 1c1cr
rooR, Iondon: Routlcdgc, 1996
An cntcrtaining account of thc avant gardc with good accounts of
contcmporary thcatrc companics and practitioncrs who havc profcsscd an
admiration for, and dcbt to, Artaud.
Rowcll, Margit (cd.), An1on1n Ar1aud. WorR on 1apcr, Ncw York: Muscum of
Modcrn Art, 1997
Writtcn to accompany thc cxhibition of thc samc namc.
Schcchncr, Richard, 1crTornancc Tcory, Iondon: Routlcdgc, (rcv.) 1988
An updatc of thc carlicr collcction of cssays on thc topic.
Schcchncr, Richard and Appcl, Willa (cds), y Mcan oT 1crTornancc.
1n1crcu11ura1 1ud1c oT 1ca1rc and r11ua1, Cambridgc: Cambridgc Univcrsity
Prcss, 1990
Schcchncr, Richard, Tc 1u1urc oT 611ua1. vr111ny on cu11urc and
pcrTornancc, Iondon: Routlcdgc, 1993
Schcchncr, Richard, 1nv1ronncn1a1 Tca1rc, Ncw York and Iondon:
Applausc, (rcv.) 1994
Schumachcr, Claudc, A1Trcd Jarry and Gu111aunc Apo111na1rc, Iondon:
Macmillan, 1984
,4)) "
A vcry informativc and rcadablc guidc to thcir work. Apollinairc coincd thc
tcrm 'surrcal' bcforc Brcton hijackcd it. A good rcsourcc for background to
thc thcatrical avant-gardc.
Schumachcr, Claudc (cd.), Ar1aud on Tca1rc, Iondon: Mcthucn, 1989
A good titlc and worth rcading.
Scllin, Eric, Tc rana11c Conccp1 oT An1on1n Ar1aud, Chicago, II:
Univcrsity of Chicago Prcss, 1968
Shattuck, Rogcr, Tc anquc1 1car. 1c or1y1n oT 1c avan1-yardc 1n
1rancc, 1885-1980, Iondon: Capc, (rcv.) 1969
Focuscs on thc rolcs playcd by Jarry, Rousscau, Satic and Apollinairc.
Shattuck, Rogcr, Tc 1nnoccn1 1yc. Cn Modcrn 111cra1urc and 1c Ar1, Ncw
York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1984
A survcy of Frcnch arts from 1830 to 1980.
Sidncl, M J, 5ourcc oT rana11c Tcory. 1o1unc 2. 1o11a1rc 1o Huyo,
Cambridgc: Cambridgc Univcrsity Prcss, 1994
Volumc 1wo of what will bc a supcr four-volumc scrics. 1his is vcry advanccd
and thcrcforc to bc rcad in librarics and only to bc dippcd into. Of particular
intcrcst in this volumc is thc scction on thc cffccts of pcrformancc on
audicncc bchaviour.
Stoppclman, Gabricla, Ar1aud Tor cy1nncr, Iondon: Writcrs & Rcadcrs
Publishing Inc., 1999
Anothcr in thc cartoon-cum-critical apprcciation scrics.
Styan, J I, Modcrn rana 1n Tcory and 1rac11cc. 1o1unc 2. 5yno11n,
5urrca11n and 1c Aurd, Cambridgc: Cambridgc Univcrsity Prcss, 1983
Sccond of a thrcc-part survcy of modcrn thcatrc which is as lucid and
cngaging as thc othcr two volumcs. Highly rccommcndcd. (1hc othcr titlcs
arc 1o1 7. 6ca11n and Aa1ura11n and 1o1 . 1xprc1on1n and 1p1c Tca1rc.)
1zara, 1ristan, 5cvcn ada Man1Tc1o and 1anp11cr1c, trans. Barbara
Wright, Ncw York: Rivcrrun Prcss, 1983
A morc rcccnt cdition of thc tcxts (prcviously publishcd by Caldcr & Boyars in
Wcightman, John, Tc Conccp1 oT 1c Avan1-Gardc, Iondon: Alcovc, 1973
A vcry good guidc to what undcrlincd thc work of thcsc artists. Wcll worth a
,4)) #
Tc Tu1anc rana 6cv1c is just onc of many. Hcrc arc somc issucs which havc
includcd matcrial on Artaud:
Vol. 8, No. 2: 1hc Artaud cdition, Paul Arnold and '1hc Artaud Expcrimcnt',
Vol. 9, No. 3: contains a translation of To Havc onc W11 Tc Judycncn1 oT God,
Vol. 10, No. 4: includcs thc 'Mara15adc Forum',
Vol. 11, No. 1: contains information on films and sccnarios,
Vol. 11, No. 2: Charlcs Marowitz and thc 1hcatrc of Cruclty,
Vol. 16, No. 2: contains work on Tc Ccnc1, including diagrams from thc prompt
book and rcvicws.
Bauhaus: 'Antonin Artaud' - a song from thc post-Punk band, Bauhaus, on thcir
album, 'Burning from thc Insidc'.
Edgar Varcsc: 'Arcana' (1927) or 'Ionisation' (1931) by Edgar Varcsc (1883-1965),
a onc-timc collaborator of Artaud's (it camc to nothing). 1hcsc rccordings might
givc somc idca of thc naturc of thcir proposcd work togcthcr and of what music
in thc 1hcatrc of Cruclty might havc soundcd likc.
1hcrc arc ccrtain anthropological films in cxistcncc which, though virtually
impossiblc to find, may bc worth kccping an cyc out for. Onc such is Margarct
Mcadc's '1rancc and Dancc in Bali' from 1937, anothcr is a film which conccrns
Artaud's voyagc to obscrvc thc Pcyotc dancc of thc 1arahumara Indians, Mcxico,
in 1936. 1his film is rcputcd to havc bccn shown by Profcssor Gcrd Roschcr of
Hamburg, at thc Frciburg Film Fcstival on Ethnographic Film, in May 1997.
Onc tclcvision programmc which might bc worth looking out for if it is rcpcatcd
is Michcl Foucault's 'Bcyond Good and Evil', first shown by thc BBC in 1993.
1hough focusing on Foucault's philosophy, thcrc is morc than a significant
influcncc of Artaud on his thinking - so much so that in a short cxccrpt thc
tclcvision makcrs havc stagcd a fictional rcconstruction of part of Artaud's
'pcrformancc' at thc Vicux Colombicr in 1947.
51CT1CA 4
,4)) $
Fcaturc films and shorts which might bc of intcrcst arc:
'1hc Cabinct of Dr Caligari' (1919), dircctcd by Robcrt Wicnc. Not an Artaud film
but onc of thc Exprcssionist mastcrpicccs. Watch and cxaminc thc acting stylc
and usc of odd anglcs and cxaggcration in sct dcsign.
'Napolcon' (1927), dircctcd by Abcl Gancc, in which Artaud plays thc Frcnch
rcvolutionary, Jcan-Paul Marat. Considcrcd to bc a classic of thc silcnt scrccn.
'1hc Scashcll and thc Clcrgyman' (1928), dircctcd by Gcrmainc Dulac. Artaud
wrotc this Surrcalist black and whitc silcnt short - it runs to thirty minutcs - in
sccnario form. It was promptly banncd in Britain. 1hough it might havc bccn
ccnsorcd for its scxual contcnt, thc ccnsor was cxcccdingly honcst and dcclarcd
it was, to him, complctcly mcaninglcss and impossiblc to undcrstand on any
lcvcl and banncd it for assuming it was objcctionablc (Scc Barbcr, 5crcan1ny
ody, abovc).
Artaud's discontcnt with thc production proccss and Dulac's intcrprctation was
latcr modificd, largcly duc to thc kudos to bc gaincd by it bcing hailcd, at lcast
by Artaud, as a prccursor of Bunucl and Coctcau.
'1hc Passion of Joan of Arc' (1928), dircctcd by Carl Drcycr, in which Artaud
playcd a monk. Anothcr black and whitc silcnt scrccn classic.
'Un Chicn Andalou' (1928), dircctcd by Iuis Bunucl (Connoisscur Vidco, CR129,
1994). 1hc still disturbing, classic Surrcalist short film.
'1hc 1hrccpcnny Opcra' ('Dic Drcigroschcnopcr') (1931), dircctcd by G W Pabst.
Artaud actcd in this but, likc Brccht himsclf, disowncd it. 1hc Frcnch vcrsion of
thc film was rclcascd as 'I'Opcra dc Quat'sous'.
'1hc Marat/Sadc' (1966), dircctcd by Pctcr Brook. A film vcrsion of thc
cxtraordinary play by thc Gcrman playwright, dircctor and paintcr Pctcr Wciss, in
which Pctcr Brook brought to cclluloid his cxpcrimcnts with thc '1hcatrc of
'My Iifc and 1imcs with Antonin Artaud' ('En Compagnic d'Antonin Artaud')
(1993), dircctcd by Gcrard Mordillat. A lovcly film, wcll told and worth watching.
'Satan's Brcw' (1976), dircctcd by Raincr Wcrncr Fassbindcr. A black comcdy in
which thc ccntral charactcr, a rcincarnatcd ninctccnth-ccntury homoscxual poct,
Stcfan Gcorgc, crcatcs his own vcrsion of thc 1hcatrc of Cruclty in an attcmpt at
social commcntary and a satirc of fascism and thc cult of thc individual.
,4)) %
Artaud madc somcthing of a namc for himsclf initially as a poct. Hc had many
influcnccs (Poc and othcrs). Pcrhaps a look at thc following might givc somc
idca of this influcncc:
Apollinairc, Guillaumc, Ca111yrannc. 1ocn oT 1cacc and War, trans. Annc
Hydc Grcct, Bcrkclcy and Iondon: Univcrsity of California Prcss, 1980.
Arp, Jcan, Co11cc1cd 1rcnc Wr111ny, Iondon: Caldcr, 1985
A collcction of Arp's poctry, along with othcr work.
1hcrc arc numcrous tcxts which might profitably bc uscd as background to thc
pcriod, or as cxamplcs of thc movcmcnts of Dada and Surrcalism (or othcr
'-isms' which formcd thc avant gardc in thc first half of thc last ccntury), or as
cvidcncc of how morc modcrn plays havc bccn influcnccd - dircctly or
indircctly - by Artaud. 1hc following is mcrcly a sclcction.
Adamov, Arthur, Co11cc1cd 11ay, Iondon: Caldcr, 2000
Arrabal, Fcrnando, 11ay 1o1unc 2, trans. Barbara Wright, Iondon: John
Caldcr, 1976
1his volumc contains Gucrn1ca, Tc 1ayr1n1, Tc Tr1cyc1c, 11cn1c on 1c
a111cT1c1d and Tc Condcnncd Man` 1cyc1c. 1hcrc arc four volumcs in this
Bcncdikt, Michacl and Wcllwarth, Gcorgc E (cds and trans.), Modcrn 1rcnc
11ay. An An1o1oyy Tron Jarry 1o 1oncco, Iondon: Fabcr & Fabcr, 1965
An intcrcsting collcction which includcs Apollinairc's Tc rca1 oT T1rc1a.
Brcton, Andrc, AadJa, trans. Ianc Dunlop, Iondon: Caldcr, 2000
Buchncr, Gcorg, Conp1c1c 11ay (cd. and trans. Michacl Pattcrson), Iondon:
Mcthucn, 1987
Buchncr's WoyccR is crcditcd as having lcd thc way for thc Exprcssionist and
Rcalist cxpcrimcnts in thcatrc in thc carly twcnticth ccntury. Visual distortion,
taboo subjccts, ctc. wcrc somc of thc clcmcnts which fcd into thc burgconing
avant gardc.
Coctcau, Jcan, Tvo 5crccnp1ay, Iondon: Marion Boyars, 1993
1hc scripts of Tc 1ood oT 1c 1oc1 and Tc Tc1ancn1 oT Crpcu plus othcr
,4)) &
Gcnct, Jcan, Tc Ma1d and ca1va1c, trans. Bcrnard Frcchtman, Ncw
York: Grovc Prcss, 1988
Onc could just as casily choosc Tc a1cony or Tc 1acR as cxamplcs of his
Ioncsco, Eugcnc, 11ay 1o1unc 7, trans. Donald Watson, Iondon: Caldcr,
1his volumc contains Tc Ca1r, Tc a1d 1r1na onna, Tc 1con and
Jacquc. Classic 'absurd' drama. 1hcrc arc tcn volumcs in this scrics.
Jarry, Alfrcd, Tc 1u 11ay, trans. Cyril Connolly and Simon Watson 1aylor,
Iondon: Mcthucn, 1968.
1ry to imaginc thc gcntccl classcs, thc cvcning drcss, a night at thc thcatrc,
scvcnty ycars bcforc Monty Python, fifty ycars bcforc Bcckctt, twcnty ycars
bcforc Apollinairc, Quccn Victoria on thc thronc of Grcat Britain and a grotty,
grotcsquc, gluttonous, rancorous, vicious pig of a man stridcs out on stagc
and hurls thc word 'Shitc!' at thc audicncc.
Alfrcd Jarry's 1u 6o1 cxplodcd into thcatrical history with just two
pcrformanccs. Hc wcnt on to 'found' thc Scicncc of Pataphysics - a 'scicncc
of imaginary solutions' which was totally nonscnsical - and drink himsclf to
dcath by thc agc of 34. Artaud namcd his own thcatrc in Jarry's mcmory.
Kanc, Sarah, 1a1cd and 1acdra` 1ovc, Iondon: Mcthucn, 1996
Kanc, Sarah, C1cancd, Iondon: Mcthucn, 2000
(Mcthucn arc planning to publish thc Complctc Plays in April 2001.)
Kanc causcd a scnsation in thc lattcr ycars of thc last ccntury with hcr
simultancously grotcsquc and compassionatc, comic and lurid plays about
abusc, war, cruclty and dcspair - and thcsc wcrc hcr attcmpts to bc lifc-
affirming. 1hcy split critics and audicnccs alikc. Suffcring from dccp
dcprcssion, shc committcd suicidc at thc agc of 28 in 1999.
Wciss, Pctcr, Mara15adc. Tc 1crccu11on and Aa1na11on oT Mara1 a
1crTorncd y 1c 1nna1c oT 1c Ay1un oT Carcn1on undcr 1c 1rcc11on oT
1c Marqu1 dc 5adc (English vcrsion by Gcoffrcy Skclton, vcrsc adaptation
by Adrian Mitchcll), Iondon: Marion Boyars, 1965
A rcmarkablc play, givcn a rcmarkablc production by Pctcr Brook with thc
Royal Shakcspcarc Company in 1964. A hcavily Marxist inspircd play givcn a
hcavily Artaudian inspircd intcrprctation, this was thc culmination of Brook's
cxpcrimcnts with his undcrstanding of thc '1hcatrc of Cruclty'.
Variously rcccivcd by critics (scc Esslin, Tc Tca1rc oT 1c Aurd, p. 433, or
Inncs, Ho1y Tca1rc, p. 132) and commcntcd upon by Pctcr Brook himsclf in
Tc 1np1y 5pacc, p. 26.
,4)) '
1hc Royal National 1hcatrc Education and 1raining Dcpartmcnt providcs In-
Scrvicc 1raining courscs for tcachcrs. 1hcir 2000-2001 programmc of courscs
includcd two of particular rclcvancc to this unit: 'Introducing Artaud' and
'Furthcr Artaud'.
Information can bc obtaincd by writing (with an SAE) to: Education and 1raining,
Royal National 1hcatrc, South Bank, Iondon, SE1 9PX.
Rccd, Jcrcmy, Ca1ny 1acR 6a1nov. A Aovc1 aou1 An1on1n Ar1aud,
Chcstcr Springs, PA: Dufour Editions, 1994
In which Rccd inhabits thc pcrson of Artaud in ordcr to rc-fashion Artaud's
1cssicr, Marc and Iaflcur, Alcxandrc, Tc Tca1rc oT Cruc11y, Scattlc, WA:
Fantagraphics Books, 1998
Not about Artaud but a comic book of short storics drawn from Artaudian
influcnccs and using Indian iconography/spirituality/transccndcntalism as its
sourcc and inspiration. May causc offcncc to somc rcadcrs

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