Artonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double

Full of wonderful quotes. This larger idea that theater–or art–must be cruel is something that really seems important to me. It’s an important counter to the very tedious assertion (by some of our students among others) that the first and last thing to know about artistic work is its ethics, about whether it is doing “good work” and avoids at all costs cruelty.

“Our long habit of seeking diversion has made us forget the idea of a serious theater, which, overturning all our preconceptions, inspires us with the fiery magnetism of its images and acts upon us like a spiritual therapeutics whose touch can never be forgotten.” pp. 84-85

“Everything that acts is a cruelty. It is upon this idea of extreme action, pushed beyond all limits, that theater must be rebuilt.” p. 85

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