Introduction The term ‘flâneuse’ can be attributed to females who engage in flânerie: the act of observing the city whilst walking. They know themselves to be one of the public, yet they are the binary opposite to the engaged pedestrian – they are a passive spectator. Until the latter half of the nineteenth century, flânerie […]
This selection of letters (1945-1947) from Artaud’s consummate work, Suppôts et Suppliciations [Henchmen and Torturings] translated into English for the first time, provides readers with a vivid, uniquely intimate view of Artaud’s final years. They show Artaud at his most exposed, and they are perhaps his most explosive, tragic, sad, even humorous. Each of the correspondents that came into contact with Artaud during this time were in their own way deeply affected since his project was essentially an “attack / on the mind of the public.”
Commenting on and elaborating key themes from his earlier writing, while venturing into new territory, Artaud recounts his torture and violation in asylums, his crucifixion two thousand years ago in Golgotha, his deception by occult initiates and doubles, and his intended journey to Tibet, where, aided by his “daughters of the heart,” he will finally put an end to these “maneuvers of obscene bewitchment.” Artaud also speaks of his plan to create a “body without organs” and extends this idea to the visual arts, where he argues that painting and drawing must wage a ceaseless battle against the limits of representation.
The apocalyptic vision for mankind that led Artaud on a journey, beginning in Mexico in 1936 and ending, tragically, in Ireland in 1937, with a mental breakdown, silence, and long internment in asylums, concluded with the extremely prolific late period from which these letters were drawn. There is an unmistakable unity of vision that permeates the letters: the vision of an unceasing, ubiquitous, and malignant plot “to close the mouth of lucidity” by any means, and which must be resisted at all costs.
Translated by Peter Valente & Cole Heinowitz
With an introduction by Jay Murphy
Illustrated by Martin Bladh and Karolina Urbaniak
Every journey conceals another journey within its lines: the path not taken and the forgotten angle.
– Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry
To walk is to lack a place. It is the indefinite process of being absent and in search of a proper. The moving about that the city mutliplies and concentrates makes the city itself an immense social experience of lacking a place – an experience that is, to be sure, broken up into countless tiny […]
In March 1970, a traveler now living in Rotterdam paid a visit to New York City. Jaap Breedveld was in his 40s at the time. Like many tourists, he took photos that reflect the typical itinerary of a sightseer from overseas, like Times Square (above, with the old Howard Johnson’s at 46th Street on the […]
“Even aimless journeys have a purpose.” Tony Horwitz, 1959-2019, author, journalist, Pultizer Prize winner, quote from “One for the Road“
In an endlessly fascinating essay – Non-places: an introduction to super modernity – Marc Augé contrasts anthropological place (any space bearing the inscriptions of the social bond or collective history, such as churches, market places and town halls) with non-places. Described as spaces of circulation, consumption and communication, they are the places we inhabit when […]
Nothing is lost. . . Everything is transformed.
― Michael Ende, The Neverending Story. (Dutton Books for Young Readers; Revised ed. Edition, March 1, 1997) Originally published 1979.