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“Never tire yourself more than necessary, even if you have to found a culture on the fatigue of your bones.”
Antonin Artaud
“There is in every madman
a misunderstood genius
whose idea
shining in his head
frightened people
and for whom delirium was the only solution
to the strangulation
that life had prepared for him.”
Antonin Artaud
“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.”
Antonin Artaud, Selected Writings
“I have need of angels. Enough hell has swallowed me for too many years. But finally understand this--I have burned up one hundred thousand human lives already, from the strength of my pain.”
Antonin Artaud, Lettres à Génica Athanasiou
“If our life lacks a constant magic it is because we choose to observe our acts and lose ourselves in consideration of their imagined form and meaning, instead of being impelled by their force.”
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double
“If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself, but to put myself back together again. Suicide will be for me only one means of violently reconquering myself, of brutally invading my being, of anticipating the unpredictable approaches of God. By suicide, I reintroduce my design in nature, I shall for the first time give things the shape of my will.”
Antonin Artaud
“I abandon myself to the fever of dreams, in search for new laws.”
Antonin Artaud
“No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.”
Antonin Artaud
“I myself am an absolute abyss.”
Antonin Artaud
tags: self
“All writing is garbage. People who come out of nowhere to try and put into words any part of what goes on in their minds are pigs. ”
Antonin Artaud
“How hard is it, when everything encourages us to sleep, though we may look about us with conscious, clinging eyes, to wake and yet look about us as in a dream, with eyes that no longer know their function and whose gaze is turned inward.”
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double
“For nothing bestializes a being like the taste for eternal happiness, the search for eternal happiness at any price, and mademoiselle Lucifer is that slut who never wanted to abandon eternal happiness.”
Antonin Artaud
“I, myself, spent 9 years in an insane asylum and never had any suicidal tendencies, but I know that every conversation I had with a psychiatrist during the morning visit made me long to hang myself because I was aware that I could not slit his throat.”
Antonin Artaud
“I cannot conceive any work of art as having a separate existence from life itself”
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double
“Without sarcasm I sink into chaos.”
Antonin Artaud
“This is why a tainted society has invented psychiatry to defend itself against the investigations of certain superior intellects whose faculties of divination would be troublesome.

No, van Gogh was not mad, but his paintings were bursts of Greek fire, atomic bombs, whose angle of vision would have been capable of seriously upsetting the spectral conformity of the
bourgeoisie.

In comparison with the lucidity of van Gogh, psychiatry is no better than a den of apes who are themselves obsessed and persecuted and who possess nothing to mitigate the most appalling states of anguish and human suffocation but a ridiculous terminology. To a man, this whole gang of pected scoundrels and patented quacks are all erotomaniacs.”
Antonin Artaud
“We have the right to lie, but not about the heart of the matter.”
Antonin Artaud
“I call for actors burning at the stakes, laughing at the flames.”
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double
“Theater of Cruelty means a theater difficult and cruel for myself first of all. And, on the level of performance, it is not the cruelty we can exercise upon each other by hacking at each other’s bodies, carving up our personal anatomies, or, like Assyrian emperors, sending parcels of human ears, noses, or neatly detached nostrils through the mail, but the much more terrible and necessary cruelty which things can exercise against us. We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all.”
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double
“I prefer the people who eat off the bare earth the delirium from which they were born.”
Antonin Artaud
“Poetry is a dissociating and anarchic force which through analogy, associations and imagery, thrives on the destruction of known relationships.”
Antonin Artaud
“I destroy because for me everything that proceeds from reason is untrustworthy. I believe only in the evidence of what stirs my marrow, not in the evidence of what addresses itself to my reason. I have found levels in the realm of the nerve. I now feel capable of evaluating the evidence. There is for me an evidence in the realm of pure flesh which has nothing to do with the evidence of reason. The eternal conflict between reason and the heart is decided in my very flesh, but in my flesh irrigated by nerves...”
Antonin Artaud
“All writing is rubbish.
People who try to free themselves from what is vague in order to state precisely whatever is going on in their minds are producing rubbish.
The whole literary tribe is a pack of rubbish mongers, especially today.
All those who have landmarks in their minds, I mean in a certain part of their heads, in well-defined sites in their skulls, all those who are masters of language, all those for whom words have meaning, all those for whom the soul has its heights and thought its currents, those who are the spirits of the times, and who have given names to these currents of thought—I am thinking of their specific tasks, and of that mechanical creaking their minds produce at every gust of wind—are rubbish mongers.”
Antonin Artaud
“In our present state of degeneration it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to re-enter our minds.”
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double
“All writing is filth”
Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double
“[defines a madman as] a man who preferred to become mad,in the socially accepted sense of the word, rather than forfeit a certain superior idea of human honor.”
Antonin Artaud
“So society has strangled in its asylums all those it wanted to get rid of or protect itself from, because they refused to become its accomplices in certain great nastiness.”
Antonin Artaud
“When you will have made him a body without organs, then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions and restored him to his true freedom.”
Antonin Artaud
“You are outside life, you are above life, you have miseries which the ordinary man does not know, you exceed the normal level, and it is for this that men refuse to forgive you, you poison their peace of mind, you undermine their stability. You have irrepressible pains whose essence is to be inadaptable to any known state, indescribable in words. You have repeated and shifting pains, incurable pains, pains beyond imagining, pains which are neither of the body nor of the soul, but which partake of both. And I share your suffering, and I ask you: who dares to ration our relief?... We are not going to kill ourselves just yet. In the meantime, leave us the hell alone.”
Antonin Artaud
“All true feeling is in reality untranslatable. To express it is to betray it. But to translate it is to dissimulate it.”
Antonin Artaud

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