Artaud, Spectatorship, and Catastrophe

Martin Harries

in Forgetting Lot's Wife

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227334
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241026 | DOI:
Artaud, Spectatorship, and Catastrophe

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Film's challenge to familiar regimes of spectatorship and the increasing centrality of spectacular mass political forms make the 1930s a period of particular pressure in the history of spectatorship. Antonin Artaud embodies these antimonies with force and fascination. Lot's wife disappears in “Metaphysics and the Mise en Scéne”—along with other fragments of Sodom—only to surface as the figure of a cultural crisis in the opening of The Theater and Its Double, its preface “The Theater and Culture,” which was probably written after all the other essays that make up the volume. Artaud links the antimetaphysical concerns of the everyday to the body, seen as so much rotting meat. That this charogne may also be translated as “slut” also suggests the consistency with which Artaud anathematized sexuality: the promiscuity and materiality of sex are one of Artaud's consistent targets.

Keywords: regimes; antimonies; Theatre and Its Double; Artaud; charogne; anathematized

Chapter.  7530 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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