Holy smokes, another must-read. Here are some choice Artaudisms:
To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theat...moreHoly smokes, another must-read. Here are some choice Artaudisms:
To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theater; the essential thing is not to believe that this act must remain sacred... And everything that has not been born can still be brought to life if we are not satisfied to remain mere recording organisms.
In the true theater a play disturbs the sense's repose, frees the repressed unconscious, incites a kind of virtual revolt (which moreover can have its full effect only if it remains virtual), and imposes on the assembled collectivity an attitude that is both difficult and heroic.
Everything in this theater is immersed in a profound intoxication which restores to us the very elements of ecstasy, and in ecstasy we discover the dry seething, the mineral friction of plants, vestiges and ruins of trees illuminated on their faces. Bestiality and every trace of animality are reduced to their spare gestures: mutinous noises of the splitting earth, the sap of trees, animal yawns.
I propose a theater in which violent physical images crush and hypnotize the sensibility of the spectator seized by the theater as by a whirlwind of higher forces.
The true purpose of the theater is to create Myths, to express life in its immense, universal aspect, and from that life to extract images in which we find pleasure in discovering ourselves... May it free us, in a Myth in which we have sacrificed our little human individuality, like Personages out of the Past, with powers rediscovered in the Past.
...The stage space is gorged with a brawling mosaic where sometimes men, sometimes compact troops tightly pressed together, limb to limb, clash frenetically. Space is stuffed with whirling gestures, horrible faces, dying eyes, clenched fists, manes, breastplates, and from all levels of the scene fall limbs, breastplates, heads, stomachs like a hailstorm bombarding the earth with supernatural explosions.
REWIND: My man said he was going to make plays featuring "stomachs like a hailstorm bombarding the earth with supernatural explosions," y'all. Can I get a what-what?
If you have any love for poetry, theater, or the extremes of life we call moments of true consciousness, read this book. Sure, it's a collection of variations on a theme, and after page one we can intuit what thesis Artaud will be unfolding on page one hundred.
But his prose, like his poetry, is vital and easy to read. And what a theme--the revitalization of humanity itself, through gesture, intonation, droning, explosions, giant beards (yes, seriously), unlimited spectacle, and an end to the psychological inward-seeking that has led us into the post-everything abyss...
I only wish they could resurrect him to direct, I dunno, the next "X-Men" movie. (JK.) [Unless you were really going to resurrect him...](less)
With Bataille's *Theory of Religion*, my bible. Call it the Second Testament. (Or, as Ali G. puts it, the Second Testicle.) A must-read for anyone eve...moreWith Bataille's *Theory of Religion*, my bible. Call it the Second Testament. (Or, as Ali G. puts it, the Second Testicle.) A must-read for anyone even vaguely afraid of/mesmerized by science and futurism.(less)
Hilarious. Terrifying. Full of unlikely incidents and anti-heroes.
Anyone who enjoys the brutalia of Cormac McCarthy must eventually approach the rude/...moreHilarious. Terrifying. Full of unlikely incidents and anti-heroes.
Anyone who enjoys the brutalia of Cormac McCarthy must eventually approach the rude/awe-filled medieval mind.
Why the Crusade? The "Peace of God," begun by a pointlessly evil hunt of the Jews in Mainz and Cologne, fueled by a distrust of everything Greek, ending in the desecration of the holiest Temple with blood, blood up the ankles of the chroniclers who themselves could not believe their eyes as the defenseless leaped from the high roof...
The Franks had no real leadership (the uber-egoist Ct. Raymond d'Tolouse vs. the Norman pirate Bohemond vs. zee Germans vs. the Turcopoles working for the Greeks vs. the peasants following mad Peter vs. the local Armenians and Syrians who rightly suspected the Franks the same as the Turks). They had only a few thousand men. Their strategy was rarely smarter than "try to win." Their horses died. Many left before they even took Antioch. Yet they won every battle, after however long a fight, and ultimately took Jerusalem.
Andso the Seljuq war-juggernaut was broken (by the deaths of its leading figures, from old age and wine, more than by the Franks), and the Middle East became a four-way Frank-Greek-Fatimid-Seljuq/Abbasid patchwork.
We're still arguing about what it meant. We still don't have peace in the Middle East. (The Ottoman-era sloth was the closest we got in early modernity.) WTF, Crusaders.
I'm reading Runciman's First Crusade now. It has more pictures, but even Dr. Run-Dogg can't compete with the chroniclers themselves.(less)