Y esta facultad es exclusivamente humana. Protesta contra la idea de una cultura separada de la vida, como si la cultura se diera por un lado y la vida por otro; y como si la verdadera cultura no fuera un medio refinado de comprender y ejercer la vida. El orden se derrumba. Esto inspira algunas reflexiones. La carne tiene la dureza de la piedra.

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The Occidental theatre has lost its magic to make a metaphysics out of gestures, lighting, movements, in the short, the whole mise en scene, proclaims Artuad. The Director prostrates before the Author, the stage before the text, the non-discursive materiality of the word before the written text.

Frustrated by the emanciation of Theater into a pathetic, anaemic screen on which our psychological and moral squabbles are half projected and half resolved, Artuad proposes that we break out of the dictactorship of written text and restore to Theater its original destiny as a spectacle of equal convulsion, impulse, and vigour as the phenomenon of life itself.

In the Balinese theater, for example, the distinction between background and foreground collapse under the immense abstract weight of the costumes, the sound of the thunderous musical accompaniments that threaten to become gestures in their own right, and the geometric lines articulated by sudden and mechanical sliding, twisting, and turning of the heads, limbs and wrists. Artuad notoriously fancies "cruelty" as the essential dimension of this Theater.

But cruelty is something wholly other than bloodshed, at least according to Artuad. Rather, it is an abstract principle that life insofar as an conscious effort on its own part to discriminate itself from unlife obeys to the nth degree. Namely, life is already cruelty. Artuad does not mince words. His prose is obscenely visceral. Some of the arguments, presumably ground-breaking at the time, have been so thoroughly absorbed in later theoretical and artistic developments that they seem obvious.

The end result is a book that feels repetitive and rather banal. He covers Balinese theater, Kabbalah, Aztec culture, and the Black Death; not in the manner of an eclectic scholar, but rather like This is one of those books that seems cursed by having been too influential. He covers Balinese theater, Kabbalah, Aztec culture, and the Black Death; not in the manner of an eclectic scholar, but rather like someone who has become fiercely obsessed with a few random subjects.

As a Marx Brothers fan, I appreciated this bit near the ending: "The poetic quality of a film like Animal Crackers might correspond to the definition of humor, if this word had not long since lost its meaning of total liberation, of the destruction of all reality in the mind.


Artaud, Antonin - El Teatro y Su Doble

La muerte de su hermana Germaine, en , lo marca profundamente. Vale la pena anotar que por aquel entonces es una persona extremadamente devota. En , luego de sufrir una crisis depresiva , durante sus estudios, piensa en inscribirse en el seminario. El catolicismo , pues, influye en la vida de Artaud y en su obra desde muy joven.




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