First published in 1938, The Theatre and Its Double is a collection of essays detailing Antonin Artaud’s radical theories on drama and theatre, which he saw as being stifled by conservatism and lack of experimentation. Containing the famous manifestos of the ‘Theatre of Cruelty’, the collection analyses the underlying impulses of performance, provides some suggestions on a physical-training method for actors and actresses, and features a long appreciation of the expressive values of Eastern dance drama.
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Since its first publication in 1938, The Theater and Its Double by the French artist and philosopher Antonin Artaud has continued to provoke, inspire, enrage, enliven, challenge, and goad any number of theatrical debates in its call for a "Theater of Cruelty." A trio of theatrical manifestos, the book is an aggressive attack on many of the most treasured beliefs of both theater and Western culture. According to Artaud, the theater's "double" is similar to its Jungian "shadow," the unacknowledged, unconscious element that completes it but is in many ways its opposite. As "culture" inexorably draws the artistic impulse into safe channels, the repressed irrational urges of theater, based on dreams, religion, and emotion, are increasingly necessary to "purge" the sickness of society. Artaud identifies language itself as one of the major cultural culprits, and his attacks on it occasionally makes his text rough going. But his challenge to restore relevance to the heart of the theatrical experience remains fundamental to the vitality of theater, and his insistence on the sensory experience of drama as opposed to the literary (and such innovative ideas as the use of unconventional "found spaces") continues to be the clarion call of the theatrical avant-garde. --John LongenbaughFrom the Back Cover:
'The Theater and Its Double' is far and away the most important thing that has been written about the theater in the twentieth century. It should be read again and again. Artaud oozed magical desires. He was the metaphysician of the theater.---Jean-Loius Barrault
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Book Description Grove Press. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0394172132 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0189035