Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud Quotes

The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everythinggestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darknessrediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations.... To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

Unrelenting decisiveness, diligence, strictness.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

And what is an authentic madman? It is a man who preferred to become mad, in the socially accepted sense of the word, rather than forfeit a certain superior idea of human honor. So society has strangled in its asylums all those it wanted to get rid of or protect itself from, because they refused to become its accomplices in certain great nastinesses. For a madman is also a man whom society did not want to hear and whom it wanted to prevent from uttering certain intolerable truths.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

But how is one to make a scientist understand that there is something unalterably deranged about differential calculus, quantum theory, or the obscene and so inanely liturgical ordeals of the precession of the equinoxes.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

It is thus that the few rare lucid well-disposed people who have had to struggle on the earth find themselves at certain hours of the day or night in the depth of certain authentic and waking nightmare states, surrounded by the formidable suction, the formidable tentacular oppression of a kind of civic magic which will soon be seen appearing openly in social behavior.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

It is almost impossible to be a doctor and an honest man, but it is obscenely impossible to be a psychiatrist without at the same time bearing the stamp of the most incontestable madness: that of being unable to resist that old atavistic reflex of the mass of humanity, which makes any man of science who is absorbed by this mass a kind of natural and inborn enemy of all genius.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

It is not a certain conformity of manners that the painting of Van Gogh attacks, but rather the conformity of institutions themselves. And even external nature, with her climates, her tides, and her equinoctial storms, cannot, after Van Goghs stay upon earth, maintain the same gravitation.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

Written poetry is worth reading once, and then should be destroyed. Let the dead poets make way for others. Then we might even come to see that it is our veneration for what has already been created, however beautiful and valid it may be, that petrifies us.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

Theater of Cruelty means a theater difficult and cruel for myself first of all. And, on the level of performance, it is not the cruelty we can exercise upon each other by hacking at each others bodies, carving up our personal anatomies, or, like Assyrian emperors, sending parcels of human ears, noses, or neatly detached nostrils through the mail, but the much more terrible and necessary cruelty which things can exercise against us. We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

When we speak the word life, it must be understood we are not referring to life as we know it from its surface of fact, but to that fragile, fluctuating center which forms never reach.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

You are outside life, you are above life, you have miseries which the ordinary man does not know, you exceed the normal level, and it is for this that men refuse to forgive you, you poison their peace of mind, you undermine their stability. You have irrepressible pains whose essence is to be inadaptable to any known state, indescribable in words. You have repeated and shifting pains, incurable pains, pains beyond imagining, pains which are neither of the body nor of the soul, but which partake of both. And I share your suffering, and I ask you: who dares to ration our relief?... We are not going to kill ourselves just yet. In the meantime, leave us the hell alone.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

Destroy yourselves, you who are desperate, and you who are tortured in body and soul, abandon all hope. There is no more solace for you in this world. The world lives off your rotting flesh.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

Tragedy on the stage is no longer enough for me, I shall bring it into my own life.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

With society and its public, there is no longer any other language than that of bombs, barricades, and all that follows.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

The Theatre of Cruelty has been created in order to restore to the theatre a passionate and convulsive conception of life, and it is in this sense of violent rigour and extreme condensation of scenic elements that the cruelty on which it is based must be understood. This cruelty, which will be bloody when necessary but not systematically so, can thus be identified with a kind of severe moral purity which is not afraid to pay life the price it must be paid.

Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud

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