Antonin Artaud : Poet Without Words by Naomi Greene

Antonin Artaud : Poet Without Words by Naomi Greene ; Introduction by Janet Flanner

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New York : Simon and Schuster, 1970. First Edition. Hardcover. 256 pages ; 22 cm. $7.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.

This book traces the development of the major themes in the work of the essential modern poet-playwright, Antonin Artaud. As a young man, Artaud complained that he could neither find the words to express his inner being nor succeed in making language and reality coincide. Toward the end of his life this complaint gave way to a violent and apocalyptic denunciation of literature and language. His work reflects the dilemma of our culture, which has lost all faith in rationality and yet continues to analyze the sickness with the voice of reason, for it has found no other.

Artaud's debt to certain movements and philosophical currents—notably Surrealism and Eastern mysticism—is acknowledged, but at the same time the book shows that the mark of his own agonized sensibility renders everything he wrote undeniably his own. As Janet Flanner points out in her Introduction to this volume, Artaud held "extraordinary theories of audience participation and the great cruel power of violence, which both ally him posthumously to the theater and to the world and to the people of today."

Naomi Greene was born and raised in New York City. She received a Bachelor's degree from Pembroke College of Brown University and a Ph.D. from New York University. Miss Greene teaches French literature at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


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