Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud was a French playwright, poet, actor, and theatre director. He is best known for his concept of the 'Theatre of Cruelty,' a form of theatre that aimed to shock audiences through gesture, image, sound, and lighting. Artaud's work had a significant impact on avant-garde theatre, influencing a range of later playwrights and directors. His writings on theatre have been widely studied and his methods continue to be relevant in contemporary performance art.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Theater and Its Double

    This book is a collection of manifestos, letters, and essays on theatre written by a 20th-century playwright and actor. It advocates for the Theatre of Cruelty, a form of theatre that rejects the comforts of traditional literature and the physicality of dance and pantomime. Instead, it emphasizes the use of symbolism, gesture, and expression to reveal the basest instincts of humanity and the subconscious mind. The author argues that theatre should not be a mere representation of reality but should affect the audience on a deep, visceral level.

  2. 2. Selected Writings

    "Selected Writings" is a compilation of texts from a seminal figure in the avant-garde theater and literary world, known for his radical ideas on the performance arts and the role of the artist in society. This collection showcases the author's diverse literary output, including manifestos, plays, letters, and essays that delve into his Theatre of Cruelty concept, which sought to disrupt the complacency of the audience and challenge the boundaries of conventional theatre. The writings reflect his tumultuous life, marked by mental illness and profound philosophical inquiry, and his influential thoughts on the interplay between reality and illusion, the body and the psyche, and the potential of art to reveal the deepest truths of the human condition.