A real theatrical experience shakes the calm of the senses, liberates the compressed unconscious and drives towards a kind of potential revolt . . .

— Antonin Artaud

The most memorable Antonin Artaud quotes that are proven to give you inner joy

But how is one to make a scientist understand that there is something unalterably deranged about differential calculus, quantum theory, or the obscene and so inanely liturgical ordeals of the precession of the equinoxes.

81

There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea, shining in his head, frightened people, and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him.

62

The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything - gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness - rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations.... To break through language in order to touch life is to create or recreate the theatre.

52

To break through language in order to touch life is to create or re-create the theater.

50

I abandon myself to the fever of dreams, in search for new laws.

46

This is why true beauty never strikes us directly.

The setting sun is beautiful because of all it makes us lose.

37

Tragedy on the stage is no longer enough for me, I shall bring it into my own life.

34

Excuse my absolute freedom. I refuse to make a distinction between any of the moments of myself.

25

In consciousness dwells the wondrous, with it man attains the realm beyond the material, and the Peyote tells us, where to find it.

24

So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.

19

Admittedly or not, conscious or unconscious, the poetic state, a transcendent experience of life, is what the public is fundamentally seeking through love, crime, drugs, war, or insurrection.

16

If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again.

13

About Antonin Artaud

Quotes 93 sayings
Nationality French
Profession Dramatist
Birthday October 16

The truth of life lies in the impulsiveness of matter.

The mind of man has been poisoned by concepts. Do not ask him to be content, ask him only to be calm, to believe that he has found his place. But only the madman is really calm.

13

Don't tire yourself more than need be, even at the price of founding a culture on the fatigue of your bones.

12

There are those who go to the theatre as they would go to a brothel.

10

In our present state of degeneration it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to re-enter our minds.

9

It is not opium which makes me work but its absence, and in order for me to feel its absence it must from time to time be present.

8

I prefer the people who eat off the bare earth the delirium from which they were born.

8

I myself spent nine years in an insane asylum and I never had the obsession of suicide, but I know that each conversation with a psychiatrist, every morning at the time of his visit, made me want to hang myself, realizing that I would not be able to cut his throat.

8

We must wash literature off ourselves. We want to be men above all, to be human.

8

Leave the caves of being. Come. The mind breathes outside the mind. The time has come to abandon your lodgings. Surrender to the Universal Thought. The Marvelous is at the root of the mind.

8

It is not a certain conformity of manners that the painting of Van Gogh attacks, but rather the conformity of institutions themselves. And even external nature, with her climates, her tides, and her equinoctial storms, cannot, after Van Gogh's stay upon earth, maintain the same gravitation.

7

All true language is incomprehensible, like the chatter of a beggar's teeth.

7

I myself am an absolute abyss.

7

The actor is merely a crude empiricist, a practitioner guided by vague instinct.

5

Cruelty in the theatre is unrelenting decisiveness, diligence, strictness.

5

Written poetry is worth reading once, and then should be destroyed.

Let the dead poets make way for others. Then we might even come to see that it is our veneration for what has already been created, however beautiful and valid it may be, that petrifies us.

5

There is nothing like an insane asylum for gently incubating death.

5

Enough, I shall be understood in ten years by people who will be doing what you do today. Then my geysers will be known, my ice floes will be seen, the secret of adulterating my poisons will have been learned, the games of my soul will be revealed.

4

Destroy yourselves, you who are desperate, and you who are tortured in body and soul, abandon all hope. There is no more solace for you in this world. The world lives off your rotting flesh.

4

Not once more will/I be found with beings/who swallowed the rail of life//And one day I found myself with beings/who swallowed the nail of life/-as soon as I lost my matrix mamma,//and the being twisted under him,/and god poured me back to her/(the motherfucker).

4

Hell is of this world and there are men who are unhappy escapees from hell, escapees destined ETERNALLY to reenact their escape.

4

Cruelty signifies rigor, implacable intention and decision, irreversible and absolute determination.

4

Written poetry is worth reading once, and then should be destroyed.

Let the dead poets make way for others.

4

Without sarcasm I sink into chaos.

3

No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.

3

[defines a madman as] a man who preferred to become mad,in the socially accepted sense of the word, rather than forfeit a certain superior idea of human honor.

3

With society and its public, there is no longer any other language than that of bombs, barricades, and all that follows.

3

By suicide I introduce my design in nature, I shall for the first time give things the shape of my will ... now I choose the direction of my thought and the direction of my faculties, my tendencies, my reality.

3

However fiercely opposed one may be to the present order, an old respect for the idea of order itself often prevents people from distinguishing between order and those who stand for order, and leads them in practice to respect individuals under the pretext of respecting order itself.

3

When I think about myself, my thought seeks itself in the ether of a new space.

I am on the moon as others are on their balconies. I participate in planetary gravitation in the fissures of my mind.

3

These terrifying forms which advance on me, I feel that the despair they bring is alive. It slips into this nucleus of life beyond which the paths of eternity extend. It is truly an eternal separation. They slip their knives into this center where I feel myself a man, they sever those vital ties which bind me to the dream of my lucid reality.

3

The race of prophets is extinct. Europe is becoming set in its ways, slowly embalming itself beneath the wrappings of its borders, its factories, its law-courts and its universities. The frozen Mind cracks between the mineral staves which close upon it.

3

[Nietzsche's] definition of cruelty informs Artaud's own, declaring that all art embodies and intensifies the underlying brutalities of life to recreate the thrill of experience ... Although Artaud did not formally cite Nietzsche, [their writing] contains a familiar persuasive authority, a similar exuberant phraseology, and motifs in extremis.

3

A tainted society has invented psychiatry to defend itself against the investigations of certain superior intellects whose faculties of divination would be troublesome.

3

For the lost are lost by nature, all your ideas of moral regeneration will make no difference, there is AN INNATE DETERMINISM, there is an undeniable incurability in suicide, crime, idiocy, madness, there is an invincible cuckoldry in man, there is a congenital weakness of the character, a castration of the mind.

3

So society has strangled in its asylums all those it wanted to get rid of or protect itself from, because they refused to become its accomplices in certain great nastinesses.

3

Poetry is a dissociating and anarchic force which through analogy, associations and imagery, thrives on the destruction of known relationships.

3

And war is wonderful, isn't it? For it's war, isn't it, that the Americans have been preparing for and are preparing for this way step by step. In order to defend this senseless manufacture from all competition that could not fail to arise on all sides.

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