Watchfiends & rack screams: works from the final period

Front Cover
Exact Change, 1995 - Drama - 342 pages
4 Reviews
Clayton Eshleman's translations are the finest and most authentic which have yet been made from Artaud's writing. Artaud's final work is his strongest and most enduring, and this collection has been wisely selected and magnificently realized. Artaud is being taken into the twenty-first century. --Stephen Barber Among Antonin Artaud's most brilliant works are the scatological glossolalia composed in the final three years of his life (1945-1948), during and after his incarceration in an asylum at Rodez. These represent some of the most powerful outpourings ever recorded, a torrent of speech from the other side of sanity and the occult. In this collection, the most complete representation of this period of Artaud's work ever presented in English, and the first new anthology of Artaud published in the U.S. since Helen Weaver's 1976 Selected Writings, cogent statements of theory are paired with the raving poetry of such pieces as "Artaud the Momo," "Here Lies," and "To Have Done with the Judgment of God." These are translated with drama and accuracy by Clayton Eshleman, whose renditions of Vallejo and Cesaire have won widespread acclaim, including a National Book Award.

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Review: Watchfiends and Rack Screams: Works from the Final Period

User Review  - Sara - Goodreads

The introduction and notes helped a lot when reading this. I always think when it comes to 'madman'/surrealist writing it's a lot like poking tea leaves to see what symbols mean anything to you. There ... Read full review

Review: Watchfiends and Rack Screams: Works from the Final Period

User Review  - tout - Goodreads

From the thin line between genius and madness that Artaud had often walked enigmatically, he appears to have left the line completely during this period, in the process of becoming "suicided by ... Read full review


On the Chimeras
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McKenzie Wark
No preview available - 2002

About the author (1995)

An early associate of the surrealists, Antonin Artaud broke with them to form the "theater of cruelty" in 1932. His goal, set forth in his long essay The Theater and Its Double (1938), was to replace the contemporary theater, with its emphasis on psychology, by a theater of myth that would reintroduce the sacred into modern life. Experiments with drugs, coupled with a long history of psychiatric trouble, led to Artaud's commitment to a mental hospital for nine years. He remains a contemporary heir to the nineteenth-century antiestablishment poets and an inspiration to contemporary theoreticians of the theater.

The recipient of The National Book Award in 1979 for his co-translation of Cesar Vallejo's Complete Posthumous Poetry, Clayton Eshleman founded and edited two seminal and highly-regarded literary journals, Caterpillar (1967 - 1973) and Sulfur (1982 - 2000). Eshleman has published twelve books of original poetry, two volumes of essays, and translations of Vallejo, Cesaire, Neruda, Artaud, Holan and Deguy. Award-winning poet, feminist thinker and political activist Adrienne Rich is the author of many books, most recently Midnight Salvage: Poems 1995 - 1998 (1999).

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