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Selected Writings

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  600 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A revolutionary figure in the literary avant-garde of his time, Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) is now seen to be central to the development of post-modernism. His writings comprise verse, prose poems, film scenarios, a historical novel, plays, essays on film, theater, art, and literature, and many letters. Susan Sontag's selection conveys the genius of this singular writer.
Paperback, 720 pages
Published October 10th 1988 by University of California Press (first published October 1976)
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Jun 13, 2007 Lee rated it it was amazing
Oh man how long ago I loved this shit 12+ years ago when drunk and my hair was all crazy before crazy hair was even close to cool and I was all like I'm the late 20th century's carbohydrate-addled Artuad update and I was all about how Van Gogh was suicided by society and oooooo ccccccaaaaaa hhhhhhaahahahaha kkkkkkskskskss ththshshthht how i loved those pages of chanting - definitely worth checking out, especially if you've ever seen that silent movie about that Joan of Arc chick that Artaud's in ...more
Aug 10, 2009 Phil rated it it was amazing
For those like me who are going into this book without being familiar with Artaud the preface will be invaluable. Underneath the veneer of derangement that it is hard to not look past there is a beautifully elucidated and powerful/creative/even optimistic desire to redeem life that is beyond words and which lends to his mental decline a martyrdom for mankind. A refusal to accept defeat (or to even acknowledge the existence of defeat.) Artaud is an invaluable resource to those who wish to look in ...more
Feb 20, 2008 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Artaud is the whole point. It's because I hate him and I'm building an arsenal against him shelf by shelf and I'm turning nothing over to him. He is an eatereatereatereater.

...It's the spider-web sanctuary,
the onouric tuft
of where-ere the sail,
the anal plate of anayou

(You're not taking anything away, god,
because it's me.
You've never taken anything like this away from me.
I'm writing it here fo rthe first time,
I'm finding it for the first time.)...

(The Return of Artaud, le Momo, 523)
Aug 10, 2015 Esraa rated it it was amazing
Never read a stronger collection of writings in my life. Artaud the genius, the tormented genius, manifesting all the damage and horrors of the human psychological condition in modern times. His strong early writings, the letters, the fragmented poems, the film scenario, were incredibly written, with outstanding use of words and images. This is not a light material to read. It’s an account of a fragmented personality, lacking the means to fully express itself. Lost in the loops of language, he f ...more
Oct 21, 2007 Tosh rated it it was amazing
Along with the Jack Hirschman edition (published by City Lights) this Susan Sontag edition is a winner and a great introduction to the man and his unique and always strange work. A sampler of his writings that will make you want to read more and more about him. Good lookin' man about town as well!
Nov 23, 2015 RB rated it it was amazing
The best collection of Artaud's writing currently available with a highly valuable introduction by none other than Susan Sontag. A must own, the Van Gogh is worth the price alone.
Jan 05, 2015 Katrina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Finally found the right words.
Erin Wallace
Apr 01, 2013 Erin Wallace rated it liked it
I'm not keen on Sontag's introduction. At certain points she inappropriately evaluates Artaud in terms of her own Marxist revolutionary ideals....
Dec 17, 2007 aloveiz rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: romantics
Most of what I've read from this book is the introduction.
For some reason,
collections of "selective writings" curated by externals tend to drive me to more extensive selecting measures.
i've enjoyed what i've selected so far.
but the introduction is really something anyone passing by this book should take a moment with.
If you know something about Artaud it might be related to him being a frightful and troubled man, fascinatingly inhuman or uberhuman by the same velocity. You may have wondered if
Feb 18, 2007 Ali rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
America is denounced as a baby factory war-mongering machine. Bloody and apocalyptic death rituals are described. Shit is vividly exalted as evidence of life and mortality…. And …God itself turns up on an autopsy table as a dissected organ taken from the defective corpse of mankind.
One suggested for getting an approximation of an idea of antonin Artaud’s last radion work: turn on the radio to any station (except WFMU of course), turn on the TV with the sound up and the picture off, smoke a join
May 26, 2009 Yuval rated it really liked it
Shelves: excerpts-read
You know you're in trouble when the preface encourages you to only read excerpts of the book you have in front of you... But dipping into various sections, I can see why. Artaud's writings are searing and thrilling but also unrelenting and repetitively emphatic. I read about one-third of the book before I couldn't motivate myself to open the book anymore. I hope to read more of it, maybe one day all of it, but I think I can only do a bit at a time without losing my mind.

In a way, the concise co
Jan 06, 2008 Nessa rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nessa by: Lance
Fantastic sensory/mental states clearly elucidated by a luntic. Sometimes a bit annoying because of his fascination with drugs, but he acutally did have mental issues.

The man knew himself best because he knew what he was made of- nothing. He knew he could not descibe himself in any words, therefore knew his person better. Reading this book is like reading with all the senses plus more you never knew you had (or could describe)

The most vivid description of things that cannot be described in word
Greg Cummings
Apr 04, 2013 Greg Cummings rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth
Back in 1987, day after day, I took this book with me while I searched the backstreets of London for myself...Intoxicating, like addictive narcotic to a famished vampire. Between the shock and awe of Artaud's nightmares and his garish illumination of theatre's shadowy recesses are sound and sanguine life tutorials. His lessons about writing are invaluable to the tortured.
Jul 28, 2011 Eleni rated it really liked it
Artaud is a tough read, but you can't deny the power of his insights into theatre. It's always good to read someone who has enormous passion about the subject, that being said, it gets a little scary and sad at times since Artaud was losing his grip on reality.
Mar 16, 2008 Morimur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Edited, with an introduction by Susan Sontag.
Feb 17, 2007 Xio rated it it was amazing
Funny tale for those in the know--I was put into a psychiatric hospital when I was about 14 and my father's gift to me while I was there was this collection. Ha!!
Oct 21, 2011 Indigo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, fav
not this edition, but equivalent in French
Jun 27, 2007 Sandrine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone as crazy as me
I love ARTAUD...but not everyone does... read at your own risk.
Maisha Hazzard
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Mar 21, 2015
Nicole rated it it was amazing
Jul 03, 2012
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Jul 31, 2012
Meg Tuite
Meg Tuite rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2015
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Jul 07, 2010
Heather rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2013
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Jan 19, 2008
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Sep 02, 2015
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Sep 03, 2016
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Mar 22, 2007
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Claud Peer rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2013
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  • Selected Writings
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  • Aurélia and Other Writings
  • Capital of Pain
  • Maldoror and the Complete Works
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  • Under the Sign of Saturn: Essays
  • Eden, Eden, Eden
  • Chanson Dada: Selected Poems
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  • Impressions of Africa
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Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud, was a French playwright, poet, essayist, actor, and theatre director.

Considered among the most influential figures in the evolution of modern drama theory, Antonin Artaud associated himself with Surrealist writers, artists, and experimental theater groups in Paris during the 1920s.

When political differences resulted in his break from th
More about Antonin Artaud...

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“I would like to write a Book which would drive men mad, which would be like an open door leading them where they would never have consented to go, in short, a door that opens onto reality.” 114 likes
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