Chapter

“The Virtual Reality of Theater”: Antonin Artaud

Samuel Weber

in Theatricality as Medium

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780823224159
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235841 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823224159.003.0012
“The Virtual Reality of             Theater”: Antonin Artaud

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In 1933, Antonin Artaud introduced his notion of a “theater of cruelty” by associating the purpose of theater with the necessary cruelty that one can inflict on others. In a way, Artaud implies that theater teaches us to be cruel. The chapter counters this notion, pointing to the political and cultural importance Artaud gives to theater and his view on war, plagues, and the like. This chapter includes a discussion of the notion of a theater of cruelty, how this notion could influence the thoughts of the audience, and the chapter's critique of this notion. Through this, the chapter introduces the concept of virtualization as the inverse movement of actualization. Also, the chapter also establishes the relevance of meaning as something unaffected by place and space and relates this to the notion of virtuality.

Keywords: Antonin Artaud; theater of cruelty; virtualization; meaning; virtuality

Chapter.  7560 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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