By John C. Stout
such a lot readers comprehend Antonin Artaud as a theorist of the theatre and as a playwright, director and actor manqué. Now, John C. Stout’s hugely unique learn installs Artaud as a author and theorist of biography.
In Alternate Genealogies Stout analyzes separate yet interrelated preoccupations relevant to Artaud’s paintings: the self-portrait and the kin romance. He exhibits how Artaud, in different vital yet quite missed texts, rewrites the existence tales of old and literary figures with whom he identifies (for instance, Paolo Ucello, Abelard, Van Gogh and Shelley’s Francesco Cenci) in an try to reinvent himself in the course of the photo, or existence, of one other. during the ebook Stout focusses on Artaud’s struggles to recuperate the experience of self that eludes him and to grasp the reproductive technique via recreating the kin in — and as — his personal fantasies of it. With this examine John C. Stout has extra significantly to our figuring out of Artaud.
His publication should be a lot preferred by means of theatre students, Artaud experts, Freudians, Lacanians and either theorists and practitioners of lifestyles writing.
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Extra resources for Antonin Artaud’s Alternate Genealogies: Self-Portraits and Family Romances
These death's heads act as a vanitas figure chastizing Abelard for his infamous sexual transgression. ). Although the passage is obscure, it seems to evoke the vagina dentata since Artaud calls the teeth of the passage "vierge" or "bardee de faim"; a reader familiar with "Paul les Oiseaux" will remember the associations in that text between "la femme" and "la faim"—erotic hunger. Notions of physical need ("faim"), purity ("vierge"), and disgust ("ordures") converge in these deathly teeth whose "arcature" rhymes with the "armature" of Abelard's mind in another ironic association of genitals and mind in conflict.
In this denial of alterity, as in his joyous transgression of the laws of church and society, Abelard acts blindly. The tutor's metaphor for his shaping of Heloi'se's thoughts is that of a needle and thread: "Dans sa pensee je suis Paiguille qui court et c'est son ame qui accepte 1'aiguille et Padmet" (1: 163). His penetration of her cocoon-mind (the French "cocon" indirectly suggests the female genitals, the "con") probably alludes to the stock expression "L'aiguillon de la chair," which the historical Abelard uses in his letters to Heloi'se when he tries to convince her of the desirability of overcoming or losing one's carnal appetite.
Artaud is both "reading" Uccello's paintings and emulating them. By reading the painter's works, he moves toward the constitution of an image of his hidden self. Artaud imagines his efforts to decipher the secret language speaking from the darkness of Uccello's works as an Orphic descent. At the moment of maximum identification between poet and painter, he discloses what ultimately separates him from his precursor: Car, je le sais, tu etais ne avec 1'esprit aussi creux que moi-meme, mais cet esprit, tu pus le fixer sur moins de choses encore que la trace et la naissance d'un cil.