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Antonin Artaud, Stephen Barber (ed.): Radio Works: 1946-48

Antonin Artaud, Stephen Barber (ed.)

Radio Works: 1946-48

Translated by Clayton Eshleman

In the last two years of his life, following his release from the Rodez asylum, Antonin Artaud decided he wanted his new work to connect with a vast public audience, and chose to record radio broadcasts in order to carry through that aim. That determination led him to his most experimental and incendiary project, To have done with the judgement of god, 1947-48, in which he attempted to create a new language of texts, screams, and cacophonies: a language designed to be heard by millions, aimed, as Artaud said, for ‘road-menders’. In the broadcast, he interrogated corporeality and introduced the idea of the ‘body without organs’, crucial to the later work of Deleuze and Guattari. The broadcast, commissioned by the French national radio station, was banned shortly before its planned transmission, to Artaud’s fury.

 

This volume collects all of the texts for To have done with the judgement of god, together with several of the letters Artaud wrote to friends and enemies in the short period between his work’s censorship and his death. Also included is the text of an earlier broadcast from 1946, Madness and Black Magic, written as a manifesto prefiguring his subsequent broadcast. Clayton Eshleman’s extraordinary translations of the broadcasts activate these works in their extreme provocation.

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Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud

was a French dramatist, poet, essayist, actor, and theatre director, widely recognized as one of the major figures of twentieth-century theatre and the European avant-garde.

Stephen Barber

is the author of twenty-five books, including seven novels, most recently White Noise Ballrooms and Film's Ghosts. Tatsumi Hijikata's Butoh and the Transmutation of 1960s Japan. He has received several awards for his books, which have been translated into many languages, such as Japanese and Chinese. The Independent newspaper (London) once called him “the most dangerous man in Europe.”
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