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To end GOD’S JUDGEMENT
To end GOD’S JUDGEMENT

Antonin Artaud, Stephen Barber (ed.)

Radio Works: 1946–48

Artaud’s work is performative in the sense that it never simply describes, but actively produces the events it enacts. As Austin characterises performative language, ‘the issuing of the utterance is the performing of an action’.3 Artaud’s work, performed correctly, is magical, finding its power in ritualistic chanting. Intonation is key to this, recalling what he wrote about metaphysical language in The ­Theatre and its Double, where the aim is ‘to deal with intonations in an absolutely concrete manner, restoring their...
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Maël Renouard

On Memory Atrophy

Externalized memory had always proceeded by contractions, summaries, reductions, selections, breaks in flow, as well as by organization, classification, boiling down. Card catalogues reduced thousands of works to a few key notions; tables of contents contracted the hundreds of pages in a given book. The sign itself was the first abbreviation of experience. An epic stitched of words was an abbreviation of the war, the long years of which were reduced to a few nights of recitation; the written text that recorded the epic was a contraction of the oral narration which pushed aside its sensory richness, melody, life in a thousand details. In accumulating, every level of abbreviation reconstituted an infinite flow, a new dilation that would be contracted in its turn. From the plurality of pages to the index and the table of contents; from the plurality of books to card catalogues.

The abbreviated elements were further arranged, situated...

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Axel Dielmann

“Can you imagine something like that?”

The curators were probably worried that someone would stumble carelessly up the stairs while looking at the exhibits—could I simply have gone past the first object at the bottom? Number 1, “Formless Veil, curtain” Must have been attached to the wall just between the entrance and exitus … “My dear colleague …!” and staircase. “… curtain, height 310 cm, width 475 cm.” I must already have seen it in the previous section, wall-high thing. What I’m overlooking, it occurs to me, is what’s essential. Which is the simplest form of analysis. I should actually go back down the gently curving stone stairs. But it’s over. Before me the Anatomical Theatre opens up along a last flat landing. Lights …

Set into the rectangular space is the oval of a gleaming brown wooden balustrade. From here you look down. Someone is whispering. The funnel of the auditorium declines in three narrowing...

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Language can never be private

Johannes Binotto

Language can never be private

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“Obsessed with buffering”
“Obsessed with buffering”

Tom McCarthy

Recessional—Or, the Time of the Hammer

Towards the end of Thomas Pynchon’s mammoth 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow, the stumbling ingénue of a hero Tyrone Slothrop sets off on a commando raid. The territory he and his cohorts move through is a giant ­metropolis, a “factory-state” in which capital, technology and power, perfectly co-calibrated, send airships drifting through urban canyons, past chrome caryatids and roof-gardens on skyscrapers that themselves shoot up and down on ­elevator-cables: a conurbation ­Pynchon calls the “City of the Future” or “Raketen-Stadt.” The...
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Ann Cotten

The last philosopher. The zen-queen.

– In what way are you a communist – since we need to define this: someone who is convinced that a totally different form of organization of communal life would be good for the human race, –

 

– Isn’t that equally true of monarchists and leaders of sects?

 

– ...with a focus on justice.

 

– but the people should behave differently, right?

 

– They should be totally different.

 

– Are you not simply a misanthropist?

 

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– No, because there are people that I like, very much even. And I understand all the less why most people feel compelled to be so nasty.

 

– Most people don’t seem to be quite as bothered by this as you are.

 

– Oh really? In my perception, most people are pretty bothered by anything that is different than themselves. That is why we need rules that define how to behave toward people we can’t stand.

 

– You have just been suffering in a...

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