Psychic envelopments and repetition in Antonin Artaud’s late poetics of cruelty (1945-1947)

  • Andrea Bocchiola
  • Davide Cavagna


The article explores the logic underlying Antonin Artaud’s late theatre mainly focusing on l’Histoire vécu d’Artaud-Momo and its textes préparatoires.

Artaud’s theatre is staged as a circular movement in three parts: a) First Part: theatre as a the incarnatory possibilities of the flesh b) Second Part: theatre as a spectacular representation c) Third Movement: Theatre as pornography.

These three movements are to be interpreted as transformations in the very concept of theatrology in its two faces: 1) transposition of bodies (theatro-) 2) symbolic-mental (-logy) and are revisited in the light of energetic dynamics that allow us to understand Artaud’s concept of transformation as the progressive unfolding of membranes or psychic envelopments that gradually have to be ravaged and torn apart.

This “meter” introduces hate as the stance and affect that allows us to delve into the psychotic logic of his work.