By Ros Murray
This e-book serves as research of the aesthetics of materiality within the multifaceted paintings of Antonin Artaud, one among Twentieth-Century France's such a lot provocative and influential figures, spanning literature, functionality, artwork, cinema, media and demanding conception.
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Extra info for Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul
5 Plato’s practice is described here as a sinister one because the ‘turds’ that he scrapes on in order to produce writing are not his own, but Socrates’. If Artaud works on leftovers or remains, they are the remains of his own waste, produced by his own corporeal thinking process. What is important about this is not the product, which after all can only mistakenly be taken for the ‘œuvre’, but the process of producing it. The emphasis in this description of Plato is on the physical act of writing, presented metaphorically through the multiple ways of scraping.
The difference between this kind of nerve-language and Artaud’s, then, is that for Schreber thought cannot pre-exist or indeed escape the linguistic structures through which 18 Antonin Artaud it comes into being, whereas for Artaud (at least in Le Pèse-nerfs) the thinking process arises from sensation, and only needs a language when it comes to be expressed. There is not, for Artaud, a straightforward distinction between language and sensation, as throughout his work he would increasingly search for ways in which, inversely, language could produce sensation, but at this early stage of his writing career Artaud concentrated primarily on attempting to express a physical feeling whilst highlighting the inevitable failure of the written word to do so.
This is perhaps the most extreme example of miscommunication, and of a misreading on Artaud’s part. Artaud had already decided, it appears, what he would find in Mexico before he even left France. His intention was not just to discover the pre-Cortesian corporeal revolution that he believed was taking place, but to actively participate, and to teach the Mexicans what they needed to discover. In a letter addressed to Jean Paulhan from before he left for Mexico he wrote: ‘quand j’ai exposé à Robert Ricard mon projet et mes idées il m’a dit: ces gens ne savent pas en réalité ce qu’ils recherchent.
Antonin Artaud: The Scum of the Soul by Ros Murray