PRINT September 1987


If there is a culture it is always alive and burns things up.
– Antonin Artaud

OVER THE LAST THIRTY YEARS, the emotional and intellectual impact of the work of Antonin Artaud has been colossal. The ideas of a Theater of Cruelty that he set out in the 30s have permeated the stages of Europe and the Americas. In France, philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva have addressed the polyvocality and the rhythmic, pulsive movement of Artaud’s language, with its break from fixed and seemingly inflexible modes of expression. His vision of a new and delirious dancing body has found its way into Japanese butoh’s violent and erotic manipulations of chance and metamorphosis. His recorded work, particularly his scream, has made its mark on the work of sound artists and poets such as Henri Chopin and others. His influence and his challenge have been giant. Yet it is now forty years after Artaud’s death, and there is still so much about him to discover, especially from the last and least-known period of his production.

Artaud died on March 4, 1948, of cancer, at the Ivry clinic outside Paris, 22 months after his release from Rodez, the last of the series of asylums in which he’d been confined since 1937. During the last years of his life he worked at a frenzied pace, creating texts, images, and recordings which project and densify all his previous production with a bone-hard and furious lucidity. The work of this final period, at once his most dazzling and most exploded creative phase, has long been overshadowed by the monolithic dimensions of the Theater of Cruelty. Now it’s finally emerging.

The first major exhibition of Artaud’s drawings is currently showing at the Musée national d’art moderne, Paris.1 (The show, which took four years to prepare, is unlikely to travel or to be repeated, because of the fragility of the drawings, executed on whatever paper Artaud had available and grated, furrowed, ground, and labored by his hand.) And Artaud’s last recording, Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu (To finish with god’s judgment)– scheduled for radio broadcast by Radio diffusion Francaise in February 1948, but banned–has finally been released.2 It contains the end point of Artaud’s exhaustive researches into the end points of language, his scream. In Artaud’s thought (as, in a different tradition, in Edvard Munch’s), the scream and the image are deeply linked–they are physical expressions of unmediated communication performed by the body and its gestures in movement, of communication expelled into the atmosphere or onto the paper as a scar. In one of his last texts Artaud said that at his death “You will see my present body / burst into fragrnents / and remake itself / under ten thousand notorious aspects / a new body / where you will / never forget me.”3

Before Artaud’s arrival at Rodez, in the Aveyron district of southern France, and his time at Ivry, where he spent the last two years of his life, he had drawn scattered self-portraits and set and costume designs for the theater, and most remarkably his savaged and savage weapons of bewitchment and annihilation, the “sorts.” He intended these as magic spells, and he began to send them to acquaintances in Paris during his catastrophic journey to Ireland in September 1937, from which he returned in a straitjacket. Vividly executed in crayon and ink, the paper ripped, stained, and burned, they emerged directly from his anger and sense of isolation at the failure of the prophecy of cataclysm and renewal that he had detailed in the pamphlet Les Nouvelles Révélations de l’Etre (The new revelations of being, 1937), and whose accomplishment he had believed he would witness in Ireland. The paper became the body of the other–when he burned it, he believed he was burning the body of the recipient. Sometimes the burns served as a sexual warning or protection; sometimes they were intended as destructive, sometimes as curative.

Further sorts were sent from the Ville-Evrard mental hospital near Paris, in which Artaud remained from 1939 to 1943, after passing through the Henri Rousselle asylum at Sainte-Anne in Paris, where he claimed to have been poisoned and held secretly. (The Rousselle institution was then under the control of Jacques Lacan, who diagnosed that Artaud was “fixed” that he would live to be 80 without change or improvement, and would never write another line.) At Ville-Evrard, Artaud suffered wartime starvation under the occupying Nazi government, which had plans for the extermination of all asylum inmates. From here he sent painstakingly constructed and despoiled sorts to his friend the theater director Roger Blin, pleading for heroin (he had been addicted to opiates since he was a young man), and to Hitler, warning of the “Initiés Françaises,” a supposed secret society that he considered responsible for his confinement. (As some of the early Modernists had seen the outbreak of World War I as a kind of necessary purgative of the old Europe, so Artaud, although the Nazis would surely have been unsympathetic to him and his ideas, welcomed Hitler as an agent of the destruction that would enable rebirth. Disturbing as such beliefs are, it is important to see all these figures as far as possible in their entirety.) And in his isolation he sent his former friend Sonia Mossé une Force de Mort, a force of death. She was already on her way to a concentration camp.

In February 1943, at the instigation of the writer Robert Desnos (eventually another concentration camp victim), Artaud was transferred to Rodez, in the unoccupied zone. Simultaneously the most productive and the most harrowing period of his internment, his time at Rodez was punctuated by a total of 50 electroshocks, which produced a deep mark of furious horror on his work following his release in May 1946. Electroconvulsive therapy had been developed in 1938 and was still at a formative stage. Artaud is among the patients whose treatment is documented in Accidents et Incidents observés au cows de 1,200 électro-chocs (1944), the thesis of the assistant psychiatrist at Rodez, Jacques Latrèmolière. It is also the subject of a book by the Lettrist-group leaders Isidore Isou and Maurice Lemaitre, Antonin Artaud torturé par les psychiatres (1970), in which the head psychiatrist at Rodez, Dr. Gaston Ferdiére, is described as a pornographer and a drug-addict, the “Eichmann de la psychiatre nazie.” (Isou may have had a personal animus: twenty years after Artaud’s death he was himself a patient of Dr. Ferdière’s, following the events in France of May 1968. Ferdiére also treated Unica am and Hans Bellmer.) Besides complaining of the memory losses involved in ECT, Artaud talked of a fall during one shock which cracked a vertebra and necessitated two months in bed.4 During his desolate lecture at the Vieux-Colombier theater, Paris, in January 1947, he claimed that one of his electroshock comas had lasted ninety minutes instead of the usual fifteen to thirty, and that Dr. Ferdière had already ordered that his body be dispatched to the morgue before he suddenly regained consciousness. Ferdière, it should be noted, still believes in a beneficial link between the electroshock treatment and Artaud’s recommencement of work after his many years of near silence in the asylums.5 Artaud began making his series of large color drawings, with multiple figures, in January 1945, the month after his last electroshock, and he wrote ceaselessly from February 1945 until his death. It’s also possible, however, that the reverse is true–that Artaud started to work at the point when his friends were able to visit him again as the war drew to a close, when he could again begin to imagine a time outside the asylums, and when the treatment came to an end, which happened, he said, when he threatened to strangle Ferdière, who was intent on a further series of ECT.6

A number of significant Modern artists and writers have faced internment over the last century, from van Gogh to Jean Genet to Bellmer. Their experiences in the asylum and prison have provoked powerful responses, some of which have been discussed, but all of which remain urgent and undiluted expressions of the Modern sense of isolation and alienation. The drawings that Artaud made in confinernent at Rodez are images of physical fragmentation, and they mark deep scores in the collective history of our relationships to the human body. They build from a shattering powerlessness. Using color crayons and large sheets of paper given him by Frédéric Delanglade, an artist whom Ferdière was sheltering from the Nazis, Anaud drew fields of human dissection and fragmentation, filled with splinters and spikes, cancers and broken, bleeding bodies. He split and broke the human body, collapsed it into pieces. Its inner space is extracted, spat out, with electric tension and movement, into the exterior world. Around the principal forms, other figures and objects fall through space. In drawings with such titles as L’être et ses foetus (The being and its fetuses, 1945) and Jamais réel et toujours vrai (Never real and always true, 1945), these forms are disjointed, unconnected, simply and exactly occupying a space of dismemberment. Pieces of metal, insects, tiny faces, penises, internal organs, all spill out in a random dispersal of dark foreign bodies across the space. Old machinery and propellers intersect with shapeless masses and cut-at faces attached to contorted, swollen shapes.

The drawings project Artaud’s violent sense of a disrupted body, a sense magnified after his electroshock experiences–all his language from the period bears witess to such a feeling of physical disintegration. And this language itself was inadequate: increasingly during his last years Artaud felt the French tongue-“le grand malade,” or “the great invalid,” as he called it–fail and betray him, and the figures in the drawings are often surrounded and penetrated by phrases from a language that he invented, and elaborated up until his death, inserting it as enraged incantation into his work. The drawings carry all the force of his scream. They manifest an instinctual expression of the body in disunity, at the limits of its enclosure, adrift in a space of both abject negativity and deep desire. The images emerge on the paper from a process of physical incision. Toward the end of Artaud’s internment his drawings became the raw material for the exploration of fears that he would rework in different ways until the end of his life–the idea that something was stolen from him at the moment of his birth, by some thieving power. Also appearing are the six “filler de coeur naitre” (heart’s daughters to be born) who he believed had fought for him during his internment; a drawing entitled Le Théatre de la cruauté, 1946, shows these “dead daughters” in coffins laid one on top of the other at tangents, their bodies marked and mummified, guarded by an immense and distorted birdlike creature.

Once the war was over, Artaud’s friends demanded his return to Paris, and by May 1946 sufficient guarantees for his care and financial security had been collected for Ferdière to release him from Rodez. He went directly to Ivry, where he chose to live in a disused 18th-century pavilion in the clinic grounds. Among the last drawings he had done at Rodez was a fearsomely indented face, mouth wide and screaming, which he had seen in a dream-“la tête bleue,” the blue head–and in the drawings from the time of his arrival at Ivry onward he worked almost exclusively on the human face. These works include portraits drawn with a delicate yet fiery energy, but the majority execute a bursting or implosion of the head and its component flesh, a bursting of pictorial form. In a text called Le Visage humain (The human face), written for the exhibition of his drawings at Pierre Loeb’s gallery in July 1947 (the only show during his lifetime), Artaud describes the face as “an empty power, a field of death.” He was aiming in his drawings for a process of simultaneous dissolution and reconstruction of the face, attempting to get inside its material and to remake it. In these works he cut open a space in which a multiplicity of forces under his control were set at work on the image, tearing and worrying it but also breaking it open for potential physical and moral realignment. The drawing was forced out from his “grinding of elements, the terrible elementary pressure”7 with which he attempted to manipulate chance through ferocious discipline. And he relentlessly denied the unbridgeable rift between the human body and any representation of it by scarring the drawing with the marks of his physical production, canceling and marking the face with reactivated strength. With all the power of his will,he was searching for a new image of the body.

Amid all the art and culture of postwar Paris, the framework in which Artaud’s final work was produced, the crucial event of the period for him was the large van Gogh exhibition at the Orangerie. He barely participated in the activities of his contemporaries, with whom one might expect him to have felt deep affinity. The Cobra and Lettrist groups were beginning to coalesce, and Alberto Giacometti and Henri Michaux were in their own ways investigating and stripping down the human body. Genet was planning a recorded work, L’Enfant criminel; like Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu, it was ultimately suppressed. Artaud remained apart. He was not socially isolated, however. At the Ivry institution he had complete freedom of movement, could receive visitors, could travel into Paris at will. His friends sometimes became the subject of his drawings-a 1947 work, for example, shows Paule Thévenin, one of the women he considered a “fille de coeur d naitre.” Surrounded by blocks of metal, her throat gouged and trailing wire, her hair streaming with nails, her face, as she has written, is lined and wounded in a stroke of the pencil with marks that the passage of a further forty years would give her in life. And Artaud also drew her sister Minouche, with sprays of orange-red-and-blue fire in her hair.

In the drawings from Artaud’s last months the faces become progressively more autopsied, their death is ground further and further into their substance, yet the transformed skin and bone of their features is also infused with life. The final drawings are accumulations of heads piled on top of each other, totems in which Artaud appears both as a young man and as a prematurely dying and toothless 50-year old. In a self-portrait that he dated December 1948 (and so now seems to have refused death, since he was actually to die in March of that year), Artaud’s head stands skull-like, composed of the hardest bone. His twisted and erect hand dominates the portrait, and an oppressive death’s-head is fixed at his shoulder. Doubles are crucial throughout Artaud’s work-his best-known book, Le Théatre et son double (1938), presents life and theater as doubles–and one of his last completed drawings, La projection du véritable corps (The projection of the true body, 1947-48), shows his own body being shot by a firing squad, his hands chained and his knees heavily scored through, while opposite stands his double, a black skeleton, its life frenziedly spurting outward in torrential lines around its wild bones. The two bodies are bound together.

Several eye-witness accounts exist of Artaud in the act of drawing. Dr. Jean Dequeker, who was a young intern at Rodez during Artaud’s time there, has described him screaming, chanting, and shattering crayons as he dug the eyes of a self-portrait out of the paper, yet at the same time giving the impression of a lucid intelligence.8 Thévenin and the poet Jacques Prevel have written of Artaud executing his Ivry portraits, of his body in movement, his hand pressing the pencil as hard into certain points on his body as into the corresponding points of the drawing, which he scraped and impaled to make the image burst forward.9 In addition, Artaud himself wrote about his drawings at Rodez and Ivry. The Rodez texts were requested by Ferdière as “explanatory” commentaries, but they often veer completely from the material content of the drawings. Artaud emphasizes the clumsiness of his images, thrown onto the page “in order to throw contempt on the idea taken, and make it fall.”10 It is his intention “in the sobbing bleeding music of the soul to reassemble a new human body.”11 For the Ivry drawings three texts are especially vital. In Le Visage humain Artaud again stresses the necessity for a clumsy, unlearned style of “barbarity and disorder” so as to penetrate the blank wall of representation and the void eyes and cavities of the face, returning to each its power. The drawing is an attempt, never an oeuvre –a struggle with the material of the body, a probing “in all the directions of accident, of possibility, of chance, or of destiny.” Dix ans que le langage est parti (Ten years that language has been gone, 1947) traces the trajectory of the image through the force of the body’s breath and lungs, and ends in a verbal blow: “a blow / antilogical, / antiphilosophical, / antiintellectual, / antidialectical / of language / supported by my black crayon / and that’s all.” And 50 dessins pour assassiner la magie (50 drawings with which to assassinate magic, 1948), the text for a projected book of pages from Artaud’s notebooks, which mingle words and drawings inseparably, details the writer’s vision of the action of the drawings, “which will make their apocalypse / because they’ve said too much to be born / and said too much in being born / not to be reborn / and to take a body / and so authentically.”

Artaud’s emphatic fix on a cycle of destruction and rebirth, which he symbolizes in the figure of a new body that has somehow dropped its internal organs and all the rest of its old machinery, which he couldn’t bear, can be generalized and seen as an exaggerated and intensified metaphor for the crisis of the human figure in the first half of this century, most obviously the issues of its representation, reproduction, and obliteration. Not only is Artaud’s art, with its agonized and agonizing feeling of a personal battlefield, shot through with the Expressionist scream, the disorder of the unconscious world of the Surrealists, and the experience of real physical pain (the crippling electroshocks), it is also heavy with the war between man and the machine. Unlike the Futurists or the more utopian Modernists, Artaud had intellectually and physically felt the machine as “an abyss.” With the war’s end and his release from Rodez, his body spat itself back into a world composed of void and maimed figures. The new figure that Artaud projected as body begins to seem an even more crucial effort to fill the blackness, to scream, to hope for a new type of self, and to reassert liberty and mobility over powerlessness.

Artaud made his first radio recordings shortly after his release from Rodez. Approached by Thévenin to do a reading for the program Club d’Essai (Essay club), he recorded a poem attacking his treatment in the mental hospitals, Les Malades et les médecins (The patients and the doctors, 1946). The poem demands a reversal of the usual roles of the doctor and the patient, for it is the patient to whom sickness has taught the “hideous” beauty of life. Artaud’s voice grates and grinds over words that he hammered and whistled out of a body and mouth maimed by electroshocks. He was unhappy with his rhythmic pacing of the poem, so he recorded another piece dealing with the harrowing absence of identity experienced by the awakening electroshock patient. Aliénation et magie noire (Alienation and black magic, 1946) accuses the French psychiatric hospitals of practices involving the sexual butchery and robbery of the bodies of patients held defenseless through insulin-shock and electroshock comas-artificially created deaths, and all death for Artaud is evil, a state of black magic, to be vigorously opposed.

Still dissatisfied with the representation of his voice, Artaud abandoned radio for a year, until he received an invitation from the program La Voix des Poétes (The voice of the poets) to prepare a broadcast on any subject of his choosing. Most of the material for Pour enfinir avec le jugement de dieu was written urgently, within the space of two weeks. Already ill with the anal cancer that was to kill him, Artaud exhaustively prepared collaborators to read sections of the texts, though there was only one true rehearsal. The material was performed and recorded from the 22nd to the 29th of November 1947, and the accompanying bruitage- screams, cries, dialogues in invented language, percussion, bangs-was recorded by Artaud and Blin on January 16, 1948. The recording is a polyphony of rhythm, chance, and laughter, an attempt to project physical images through sound alone by underlining sound’s inhabitation and fracturing of space, its marking both of a body and of that body’s absence. The work constitutes Artaud’s final struggle with language–an interrogation, dissection, fragmentation, and concentration of language to create from it an expression of the human body. This time Artaud approved the recording. He felt that the work evoked a bodily transmission that could be experienced with the listener’s entire nervous system.

Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu was scheduled to be broadcast on February 2, 1948, and Artaud believed it would jolt and discomfit the people of Paris but would also bring deliverance and “la gloire corporelle” to those engaged in hard physical work-he mentions ironmongers, roadmenders, and others. The day before its transmission, however, it was banned as inflammatory and obscene by the head of the radio station-“just as though it were a porno movie,” as Thévenin says.12 Despite newspaper controversy and private auditions at which writers such as Jean Cocteau and Paul Eluard (and also a Dominican priest) agreed that the broadcast should go forward, the ban stood. A handful of copies of the recording were made for personal friends of Artaud before the master disappeared. (Presumably it was erased and the current release of the recording made from one of the clandestine copies.) Artaud was enraged, and wrote that “wherever the machine is / there is always the abyss, nothingness.”13 Now, after this last disaster, he wanted to create a theater of blood. He died a week later.

The recording has five parts, with the bruitage interspersed in the breaks. The long first section is performed by Artaud and deals with an alleged American-government practice of stockpiling schoolboys’ sperm for the financially motivated wars of the future. The voice tears at the words, hysterically and coldly humorous. The second section, “Tutuguri, le rite du soleil noir” (Tutuguri, the rite of the black sun), was read by the actress Maria Casarès after Artaud’s friend Colette Thomas refused to do so at the last moment, on a “caprice,” he believed. The piece details a dance for the abolition of the Christian cross, and the institution of a new sign forged through bleeding meat, in Artaud’s interpretation of a ritual enacted by the Tarahumara Indians whom he had visited in Mexico in 1936. “La Recherche de la fécalité” (The search for the excremental), read by Blin, projects an opposition of excrement against bone, taunting men for having cowardly bodies of meat when “to live, / you have to be somebody, / to be somebody, / you have to have a bone, / and not be afraid of showing the bone, / and losing the meat in the process.” The text asserts that an army of men has revolted to end god’s judgment by creating a body totally without organs, a tree of walking will-the remade body for which Artaud yearned. The fourth part of the recording, “La question se pose de…” (The question arises of...), performed by Thévenin, attacks the mythic status accorded to ideas–elsewhere Artaud wrote that ideas are only the voids, the waste products, of the body–and examines “I’infini” as “the opening / of our consciousness / toward possibility / beyond measure.” Interrupting himself again and again in the role of the public demanding he be put in a straitjacket, Artaud read the closing text, pleading more and more desperately for a remaking of the human body on the autopsy table, a scraping away of god and organs, and finally for the creation of a delirious wrong-way-round dance of discipline and external will.

In Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu, Artaud arranges screams and silences in a tight rhythm, “at a hairbreadth / in a fulminating order.” In a sense, the whole work is a scream, and the scream is the core of the broadcast, Artaud’s way of making the body felt in extreme. At one point the text reads, “there is nothing I abominate and execrate so much as this idea...of representation, / that is, of virtuality, of nonreality,... attached to all that arises and is shown.” For Artaud, the recordings sound, then, had to have a physical presence, had to re-create itself constantly. Its purpose was not to tell a story or create any kind of illusion: Artaud’s language tears apart linear syntax and any scraps of narrative. Voices are layered behind voices in a dense trajectory of sound, which acts and moves in multiple directions. This projection of a scream executed in a swarm of chance events,vocal cries, an overwhelming rush and beating of sound, is like an extraordinary regaining of its author’s voice after the imposed silence and the physical restraint of his nine-year internment. And with his regained voice Artaud attempts sensationally to disrupt the structures of language, to fracture them irreparably, so that the physical life that they cover up can emerge.

Laughter is deeply implicated in Artaud’s work as an explosive attack, a taunting; often he is ridiculing the label of “insane” imposed upon him by the psychiatrists, and expressing his outraged derision for the flawed form of the human body as it is. More deeply, however, his laughter is a violent probing of sense, of the known, repeatable, assimilable face of language, in an attempt to reveal what is hidden beneath that face—the disparate, many-tongued human body. Anaud says, “The act I’m talking about aims for the true organic and physical transformation of the human body.” For him, the struggle for this new body always endures; his work “isn’t the symbol of an absent void, / of an appalling incapacity for man to realize himself in life. / It is the affirmation / of a terrible / and moreover inescapable necessity.”14 He wants to affect the body directly, and to establish an existence for the body in which all influence, all nature, and all culture are torn away from it so that it is itself, honed down, bone and nerve, without family, god, or internal organs. (Artaud deeply resented the fact that he had been born from his mother’s womb—he saw himself as his own creation.) And Artaud’s language in Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu is itself reduced, pared down, to express this shattering need to cut into the body. At times everything bursts on the ear at once, entailing an intense, aggressive densification. The language is fragmented, but at the same time the violent need it expresses for physical transmission sutures its pieces together again in the listener, where they can transform themselves.

In his pavilion at Ivry Artaud worked at a kind of rhythmic dance that involved dancing itself, fighting, incanting, hacking with a hammer or knife at a huge block of wood, writing, and drawing, all to the point of exhaustion. The scream was forced out of all these elements together. Dance was always a strong image for Artaud, and his scream is a dance of the body, a dance of furious revolt. He struggled to bring it into existence to eradicate “the misery of the human body,” seeing it as the starting point for an actual transformation of the anatomy. The scream exerts an exactly choreographed image of physical imbalance, a compulsive falling: “I fall. / I fall but I am not afraid. / I bring up my fear in the noise of rage... / to scream I must fall. / I fall into an underworld and I cannot get out, I can never get out... / This scream I’ve thrown out is a dream. / But a dream which eats the dream.”15 Finally the scream is Artaud’s own language–a tearing apart of meaning, and the way he sought to project the true body.

The scream of Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu is the last assault, demand, necessary dream, and explosive affirmation of Antonin Artaud. It spills out over whatever defines it, and becomes dangerous. After his last public appearance, at the Vieux-Colombier, where he spoke in an acutely exposed mood fluctuating between paralysis and raw fury, Artaud wrote to André Breton of his intention “to wail out belches of hatred on a stage, colics and cramps to the limit of blackout..../ Besides gathering people in a room, / it remains for me also to hurl abuse at this society in the street... / and to invite them to listen I need barricades and bombs.” Artaud’s drawings and screams, bombs and blows, are the trace of his activity and language: “and blows are the only language in which I feel capable of speaking.”16
Stephen Barber

Stephen Barber is a writer and filmmaker based in London. He is working on a book on Artaud.

The author would like to thank Panic Thévenin for her help in the preparation of this article.



1. “Antonin Artaud: Dessins” closes on October 11.

2. Editions La Manufacture. Lyons.

3. Antonin Artaud. ’Le Theatre de la Cruauté," 1947, collected in Oeuvres Completes d’Antonin Artaud, Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1954–, 13:118. The translations of Artaud’s words in this essay are the author’s.

4. See Paule Thévenin, “Un insurgé de l’art,” in Antonin Artaud: Dessins, exhibition catalogue, Parts: Centre Georges Pompidou, 1987, p. 9.

5. Conversation with the author, March 1987.

6. Anaud. letter to Albert Camus. 1947. published in Nouvelle Revue Française, Paris, May 1960. pp. 1012–20.

7. Artaud, “Van Gogh le suicidé de la société,” 1947, collected in Oeuvres Complètes, 13:42.

8. See Jean Dequeker, “Naissance de l’image,” La Tour de Feu 112, Jarnac, 1971.

9. Thévenin, Antonin Artaud: Portraits et Dessins, Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1986, pp. 36–37; and Jacques Prevel, En compagnie d’Antonin Artaud, Paris: Editions Flammarion, 1974. pp. 147–48.

10. Artaud, commentary on La maladresse sexuelle de dieu, 1946, collected in Oeuvres Complètes_, 20:173.

11. Artaud, commentary on Couti l’anatomie, 1945, collected in Oeuvres Complètes, 18:73.

12. Conversation with the author, April 1987.

13. Artaud, letter to Paule Thévenin, 1948, Oeuvres Complètes, 13:146.

14. “Le Théâtre de la Cruaté,” p. 110.

15. Artaud, “Le Théâtre de Séraphin_,” 1935, collected in Oeuvres Complètes, 4:178–79.

16. Artaud, letter to André Breton. 1947, published in L’Ephémère 8, Paris, Winter 1968. pp. 4 and 21.

The photograph of Artaud and the images of his work are from Paule Thévenin and Jacques Derrida, Antonin Artaud Drawings and Portraits, forthcoming from Abbeville Press, New York.