The Powerful Antonin Artaud

1617 Words Feb 22nd, 2018 6 Pages
Though his illnesses set him back in many ways, Artaud was ever persistent and dedicated to expressing himself artistically, even if it meant he had to work twice as hard as anyone else to be heard and understood. As such, Artaud’s work in the theater gives us a sense that anything is possible. His writing, directing and conceptualizing are evidence of his inability to be bound or limited in any sort of artistic way. Artaud’s theater is one full of possibilities and unexplored territories. As Artaud himself said, “If there is still one hellish, truly accursed thing in our time, it is our artistic dallying with forms, instead of being like victims burnt at the stake, signaling through the flames.”1 Artaud’s childhood bout with a severe case of meningitis affected him for the rest of his life. He suffered from nervousness, an irritable temperament, neuralgia, stammering, and severe bouts of clinical depression.2 As a result, Artaud spent much of his adolescence in and out of sanatoriums-- it was there that he first became addicted to opiates when they were prescribed to him for his pain, which resulted in a lifelong addiction.3 When Artaud was finally able to escape the sanatoriums, he began a life as both a poet and an actor in Paris. As a writer, Artaud struggled due to the physical repercussions from his youth:…
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