Sunday, 3 July 2011

Bizarre Antics

   Came across this in the college library recently, for some reason in the Philosophy section. Its an amusing foray into Artaud's life and work, with line-drawings that make David Shrigley look like Rembrandt and the overall adolescent drift that AA was a misunderstood counter-cultural visionary hounded into madness by the philistine bourgoisie, just like poor old Baudelaire, de Nerval and Rimbaud before him:

 Artaud was an interesting writer and theorist without a doubt, but a lot of his bizarre antics are amusing in themselves. I love the story of him travelling to Ireland in the 30s with a cane he believed was St Patrick's in order to discover the secrets of the Druids: after running out on several unpaid hotel bills and walking through Dublin smiting people with his cane (" My cane imposes silence on my persecutors!") he was finally arrested and sent back to France to be certified.
   Maybe I should follow this model in writing about contemporary poets - how about JH Prynne for Beginners with illustrations by my 9 year old son - " My heterodox vocabulary unravels the cultural hegemonies enshrined in normative discourse!" etc

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