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Title: Artaud : the final work (1946-1948)
Author: Barber, Stephen Kenneth.
ISNI:       0000 0000 8161 8929
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 1990
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Although Antonin Artaud is one of the most renowned and inspirational figures in twentieth-century culture, the work of his last period (1946-1948) remains largely unknown. This is in part due to its relative inaccessibility. However, this vast and complex body of work has suffered from a certain critical marginalization. It emerged out of a period when Artaud was newly released from nine years of asylum incarceration. In addition, it is ferocious material, incessantly assaulting both social and linguistic structures. It resists representation and assimilation, screams its refusal of socialization, and it is based in a process of fragmentation. The research necessary for this thesis involved several years of archival investigation and documentation in Paris. On close examination, the last part of Artaud's work proves to be exceptionally vital and fertile, with its explorations into corporeal and linguistic systems. His previous preoccupations - such as with textual and gestural intentionality - are powerfully formulated and intensified (rather than concluded) by this final span of production. Especially important to this work is its generic richness, with an immense intercrossing of many disciplines. The power of the work stems largely from the collisions between its elements, notably that between text and image. Consequently, this thesis is arranged into examinations of Artaud's poetry, recordings, drawings, criticism, letters, and his gestural work around the body. Much attention is given to the interactions between these disciplines, and to the multiplicity of ways in which they work to articulate Artaud's thematic concerns. A diversity of analytical strategies is necessary to draw out these interactions. The argument of the thesis is that the least tangible aspect of Artaud's production, his gestural work around the body, is most crucial in projecting his overriding concern with physical immediacy, and in its role as an axis for the other genres of work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available