The Theater and Its Double
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The Theater And Its Double

by Antonin Artaud
3.71 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0802150306
Pages
159 Pages
Published
Grove Press , 1958
Publisher
Grove Press
A collection of manifestos originally published in 1938, The Theater and Its Double is the fullest statement of the ideas of Antonin Artaud. We cannot go on prostituting the idea of the theater, the only value of which is in its excruciating, magical relation to reality and danger,” he wrote. He fought vigorously against an encroaching conventionalism he found anathema to the very concept of theater. He sought to use theater to transcend writing, to break through the language in order to touch life.”

An early associate of the surrealists, Antonin Artaud broke with them to form the "theater of cruelty" in 1932. His goal, set forth in his long essay The Theater and Its Double (1938), was to replace the contemporary theater, with its emphasis on psychology, by a theater of myth that would reintroduce the sacred into modern life. Experiments with drugs, coupled with a long history of psychiatric trouble, led to Artaud's commitment to a mental hospital for nine years. He remains a contemporary heir to the nineteenth-century antiestablishment poets and an inspiration to contemporary theoreticians of the theater.