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A radical re-thinking of one of the most canonized figures in theater history, theory, and practice

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Copyright © 2010, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Description

Artaud and His Doubles is a radical re-thinking of one of the most influential theater figures of the twentieth century. Placing Artaud's writing within the specific context of European political, theatrical, and intellectual history, the book reveals Artaud's affinities with a disturbing array of anti-intellectual and reactionary writers and artists whose ranks swelled catastrophically between the wars in Western Europe.

Kimberly Jannarone shows that Artaud's work reveals two sets of doubles: one, a body of peculiarly persistent received interpretations from the American experimental theater and French post-structuralist readings of the 1960s; and, two, a darker set of doubles—those of Artaud's contemporaries who, in the tumultuous, alienated, and pessimistic atmosphere enveloping much of Europe after World War I, denounced the degradation of civilization, yearned for cosmic purification, and called for an ecstatic loss of the self. Artaud and His Doubles will generate provocative new discussions about Artaud and fundamentally challenge the way we look at his work and ideas.

Kimberly Jannarone is Associate Professor in the Department of Theater Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

"Jannarone has written a remarkable book about Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty.. This fascinating study should shake the foundations of Artaudian scholarship."
 -- S. W. Cole, Bridgewater College, CHOICE - Highly Recommended

"...a daring and rigorous historical reinterpretation that defies critical consensus on Artaud." - Lara Cox, University of Exeter, French Studies

"[Jannarone] argues in her enlightening and engaging book that "Artaud" was invented in the 1960s in widespread misreadings of The Theatre and Its Double." - Iris Smith Fischer, University of Kansas, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism

" I commend Jannarone for expanding my knowledge of theatre history and the Artaud phenomenon, and especially for forcing me to rethink and defend my position on this 'madman.'"
—Les Essif, University of Tennessee, Text & Presentation

- Les Essif

"Among the most significant books written about the avantgarde in the last three decades."
—Mike Sell, TDR: The Drama Review

- Mike Sell

"Kimberly Jannarone's recent monograph Artaud and His Doubles is truly one of the most profoundly original and thought-provoking works of literary criticism dedicated to Antonin Artaud to date." 
—Keith Moser, Dalhousie French Studies 97

- Keith Moser

"One of the most profound books to have emerged in theatre studies in recent years. Anyone interested in Artaud and in avant-garde theatre in general should read it."
— Carl Lavery, Theatre Research International

- Carl Lavery

"This is a singularly important book, and its influence is sure to be felt for a long time."— Matthew Yde, Theatre Journal

- Matthew Yde

Honorable Mention: New York University (NYU) Joe A. Callaway Prize for Best Book in Drama or Theatre

- NYU Joe A. Callaway Prize

"...a daring and rigorous historical reinterpretation that defies critical consensus on Artaud."
—Lara Cox, University of Exeter, French Studies

- Lara Cox, University of Exeter

"Artaud and His Doubles brilliantly addresses our growing uneasiness with Artaud’s explicit attack on reason and his implicit attack on democracy...this book contributes to a clearer rendering of a charismatic individual who, while occasionally speaking of a type of artistic freedom, did not hide his intention to create a theatre reflecting the menace he perceived in the world."
—Iris Smith Fischer, University of Kansas, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism

- Iris Smith Fischer

"A well-documented, elegantly written groundbreaking study that provides copious evidence that will change the way theater practitioners view Artaud."— Gene Plunka, South Central Review

- Gene Plunka

"Thus Jannarone reproves and leaps free from the dead weight of much previous Artaud scholarship. To students and scholars concerned with Artaud’s philosophical outlook, her book should prove provocative and fertile; to those engaged with his theatrical ideas it represents an indispensable portolan."— Simon Ferdinand, New Theatre Quarterly

- Simon Ferdinand

"Jannarone has written a remarkable book about Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty. This fascinating study should shake the foundations of Artaudian scholarship."
—S. W. Cole, Bridgewater College, CHOICE - Highly Recommended

- Kimberly Jannarone