The Theater and Its Double

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Grove Press, 1958 - Theater - 159 pages
2 Reviews
A collection of manifestos originally published in 1938, The Theater and Its Double is the fullest statement of the ideas of Antonin Artaud. "We cannot go on prostituting the idea of the theater, the only value of which is in its excruciating, magical relation to reality and danger, " he wrote. He fought vigorously against an encroaching conventionalism he found anathema to the very concept of theater. He sought to use theater to transcend writing, "to break through the language in order to touch life."

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User Review  - breadhat - LibraryThing

This is one of those books that seems cursed by having been too influential. Some of the arguments, presumably ground-breaking at the time, have been so thoroughly absorbed in later theoretical and ... Read full review

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User Review  - dhut0042 - LibraryThing

The Theater and Its Double by Artaud contains various short manifestos and essays which describe and argue for more malleability and creativity in the expressions of playwrights and actors. For the ... Read full review

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About the author (1958)

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.

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