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The Theatre and Its Double

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  3,410 ratings  ·  108 reviews
First published in 1938, "The Theatre and Its Double" is a collection of essays detailing Antonin Artaud's radical theories on drama, which he saw as being stifled by conservatism and lack of experimentation. It contains the famous manifestos of the 'Theatre of Cruelty', analyses the underlying impulses of performance, provides some suggestions on a physical training metho ...more
Kindle Edition, 163 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Alma Books (first published 1938)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,410 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Oziel Bispo
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Artaud faz uma Crítica ao teatro verbal do ocidente que não se utiliza da metafísica dos gestos ,que nunca soube utilizar a música para fins dramáticos ,não faz uso de movimentos ,formas, cores, vibrações, atitudes e gritos. Elogia o teatro oriental que se utiliza de tudo citado acima. Artaud admira o teatro de Bali com toda a sutileza dos gestos , nas modulações variadas das vozes, músicas e mímicas. Critica os diretores ocidentais que seriam eliminadores de atores, enquanto os diretores orient ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect for a day at the beach
Aung Sett Kyaw Min
I'm practically a phillistine when it comes to fine arts. Even then, I found much of what Artuad's essays in this manifesto to be extraordinarily accessible.
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
This is one of those books that seems cursed by having been too influential. 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. The message may be trivial, but Artaud's writing is lively. He covers Balinese theater, Kabbalah, Aztec culture, and the Black Death; not in the manner of an eclectic scholar, but rather like ...more
Vatroslav Herceg
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hrvatski centar ITI-UNESCO
Zagreb, 2000.
Preveo: Vinko Grubišić
Izvorno objavljeno 1938.
Ocjenu sam dao oslanjajući se pretežito na sadržaj, s time da je stil jako kvalitetan.
U vezi jezika valja reći da je sve pisano esejističkim stilom koji je, u nekim teorijskim tekstovima, toliko isprepleten s književnoumjetničkim stilom da se neki teorijski tekstovi mogu smatrati i književnim djelima, posebice tekst "Kazalište i kuga". Jezik je jednostavan i razumljiv. Artaud je posjedovao izniman i živopisan d
Heather Finley
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like english thoery
Recommended to Heather by: a professor that I took many classes from
Shelves: non-fiction
I just re-read a little of this. After finishing Strip City I wanted something to read while hanging around the house one day but couldn't decide what to start next so I went with a little out of Theatre. It is one of my all time favorite peices of writing.

I've picked this book apart so many times that this time I decided just to enjoy the words. Artaud had a way with words that I haven't found anyone else close to.

Take for example this paragraph from The Theatre and The Plague (my personal fav
M.L. Rio
I disagree wholesale with pretty much everything Artaud has to say--and his philosophies usually produce the kind of insufferable pretentious theatre nobody outside of an art school can stand--but this is still essential reading for any serious theatre student. The last chapter on actor-as-athlete Is particularly worthwhile.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
“cruelty” might be the functionally irreducible element that endures in all of its unassimilable difficulty on through the frustrated attempts of bertalanffian sociological capture. the vigor and wildness of this non-theoretical anarchistic kinship with antonin artaud stems from an embrace that all sociological form must be continually subverted, that this is the tendency of collaboration, that the structure of kinship is continually broken in its recrudescence, like how fred moten in *in the br ...more
Toni Juričić
munjen si, čo
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid manifesto, trying to save the theatre from the fetters of the written text. Artaud's point is that the theatre should be above the text and reclaim the performance space in favor of addressing the senses. In this book, he suggests a new drama that he calls "The Theatre of Cruelty" where actors and directors aim to distress the audience rather than telling psychological stories about characters, which is the domain of literature. The theatre according to Artaud has been subordinated by li ...more
Patrick Bella Gone
Following a lengthy discursive diatribe on plagues, Artaud gets to his metaphor: theater is like a plague. Both hit you in the lungs and mind. They each grab and twist, taking over, and whereas the plague will kill you, theater, if done to Artaud’s specifications, captures the breath and liberates the mind. Liberate it from what? Who knows.
Artaud thinks of theater as a venue to play out “the perverse possibilities of the mind.” To those who think that’s dark and morbid, Artaud says that’s life’s
Asser Mattar
It took me longer than expected to finish this book. A collection of essays on modern techniques that should be introduced to theatre, and how theatre shouldn't be a mere performance based on a written text. Many interesting elements but a lot of redundancy that made me lose focus several times.
Newer Review: Apparently the first time I read this I rather enjoyed it, but this time I was really put off by the racism, especially in essays like "The Balinese Theatre." But I also disliked this essay because I simply have no idea what he's talking about. I mean, I have a sense of how Balinese performance works and what it generally looks like, but Artaud's explanation of it is so bizarre and dependent on generalizations about a shared communal response that his explanation simply doesn't mak ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whether you study the theater professionally or are just interested in learning something new about it, you’ll enjoy this book thoroughly. Not all of Artaud’s positions are acceptable for me. For example, I do not agree that the Oriental theater is superior and more invocative just because it is about the spiritual conflicts. The Occidental (Western) theater, the theater of psychological conflicts based on spoken language, could acquire the same incantation, depending of actors’ professionalism ...more
Jun 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: disaffected college students
Shelves: theatre
this book should be read, closely read, re-read, and taken seriously by anyone who ever takes theatre seriously as an artform, a means of communication, a way of life, or the only thing we've ever done besides procreating, defecating, and dying.

it's written by a total lunatic who's thoughts and precision cannot be dismissed because of his insanity. to the contrary, his particular mental disturbances so sharpen his thoughts, that, at the very least, they need be considered, if not pored over with
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Artaud argues that theater has become subordinate to the text and that the mise en scene and spectacle need to be privileged in his revolutionary call for a theater of cruelty. He calls for a new language, not one of words, but one of signs in which words are still used, but not solely for their grammatical meanings; words instead should be chosen for their sonority and vibrational qualities.

I was alternately fascinated by Artaud's vision and suspicious that it's possible (Conclusion: it's poss
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beeplist
This book is to the theatre as Alfie Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting" is to parenting. So many of the sacred Myths keeping the theatre from its potential exist today as much as they did when Artaud and Brecht were writing. This is a masterpiece; essential to a reading list for any first year theatre student.

"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)
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very dangerous book. PERILOUS. I am going to re-read it at once.
Marcelo Andreguetti
Artaud era de fato um louco reacionário, mas o seu estilo de escrita e argumentação são ótimos. Muitas de suas ideias continuam válidas, mesmo com o radicalismo que incutiam.
Steph Post
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy read, but an authentic one.
Mamen Ríos
Artaud es para releer, ya que al leerlo te pierdes en sus detalles, adjetivos y formulaciones. Es una visión importante entre los dos tipos de teatro fundamental y cómo se articula la mirada en ambas. Trata sobre una crueldad, un poco metafísica, que pretende destacar la importancia de no ser la escena la que cede ante el texto, sino al contrario. Busca un teatro que se mueva desde la piel.
Me ha gustado, pero no es un libro fácil.
Jinny Chung
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If our lives lack fire and fervour, that is to say continual magic, this is because we choose to observe our actions, losing ourselves in meditation on their imagined form, instead of being motivated by them.

This took me seven months to get through, but that excerpt unpacked everything for me.
Me equivoqué con este libro en mi primera valoración.
Es lo que tiene el turbocapitalismo: vivimos con tantas prisas que no solemos tener tiempo para releer, para revisar, para reescuchar; formándonos muchas veces, como consecuencia, opiniones muy superficiales de las cosas.
Aug 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Het theater in het Westen van deze tijd (jaren dertig van de vorige eeuw) legt te veel de nadruk op het geschreven woord (en dit om meestal thema's van psychologische aard te behandelen), waarbij de regisseur van het toneelstuk onderdanig is aan de tekst van de auteur. Het theater moet echter een Gesamtkunstwerk (mààr géén spektakeltheater; zie hieronder) zijn; een aanval van op alle vlakken en dit op alle zintuigen van de toeschouwers met inbegrip van het onderbewuste en de ziel. De toneelacteu ...more
Lena Chilari
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teatrul cruzimii definit ca fiind "afirmarea/unei teribile/ și de altfel ineluctabile necesități"
Taylor Lee
Fascinating, critical, turbulent, insightful. Provides invaluable perspective and criticism for literary artists.
Dustin J Allen
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bless Artaud.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Teatro de la crueldad significa teatro difícil y cruel ante todo para mí mismo"
Apr 06, 2018 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
quickly skimmed through this for my theatre project. very interesting ideas!
William Gibbs
Recommended by David Hrivnak.
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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
“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.” 99 likes
“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.” 63 likes
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