Antonin Artaud by Martin Esslin
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Antonin Artaud
By Martin Esslin

Antonin Artaud

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Format: Paperback

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Antonin Artaud by Martin Esslin

Book Description

The title of this book is Antonin Artaud and is written by author Martin Esslin. The book Antonin Artaud is published by Oneworld Classics Ltd. The ISBN of this book is 9780714542041 and the format is Paperback. The publisher has not provided a book description for Antonin Artaud by Martin Esslin.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780714542041
ISBN-10: 0714542040
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 140mm x 9mm)
Pages: 127
Imprint: Calder Publications Ltd
Publisher: Oneworld Classics Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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US Kirkus Review » Since Artaud was a "Master whose message is incarnated in his life" and one of those catalysts whose effects arise from "what they have suffered," Esslin concentrates more on biography than do most contributors to the Modern Masters series. From "soulful, young monk" to "toothless, ravaged martyr," he traces Artaud's multiple non-careers as film actor, poet, soon-expelled surrealist organization man, stage director-deviser, and theater theorist (The Theater and Its Double) - and Artaud's road to Rodez asylum, a road paved with laudanum, opium, tarot cards, frustrated infatuations (Anais Nin among them), and a gravelly mix of physical and mental afflictions. Vivid, quick portraiture, yet, paradoxically, the more one knows of Artaud's sad existence, the more difficult it is to accept him happily as a "modern master." Esslin works hard, characterizing the fevered, madhouse writings as an achievement, a super-surrealistic "technique of automatic writing which would give access to the darkest, deepest layers of the human mind," linking Artaud's straitjacket years (and his writings on Van Gogh) to R. D. Laing, and emphasizing Artaud's importance as "a cult figure, a revolutionary force, and a unique psychological case." But only Artaud's enunciation of a de-prosceniumed, physicalized Theater of Cruelty, where the audience will go as they go "to the surgeon or the dentist," seems arguably unique or truly influential, and Esslin's documentation of the influencees (Peter Brook, et al.) is surprisingly sketchy. So, the lingering image here is not of a revolutionary figure but of the madman who espoused a "total rejection of sex" and observed that "seven to eight hundred million human beings. . . should be exterminated." (Kirkus Reviews)

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