Antonin Artaud (1896 - 1948)

I saw, that we don't have the name "Artaud" in the our local search engine, so likely he never was mentioned here before. He's mentioned in the context of "Tarot". I occasionally read his name (if there is no other Artaud), but didn't know any details before.


Laurence A. Rickels (Santa Barbara): The Originary Crack: Artaud on the Hieroglyphic Origin of Language ... &q&f=false
(not complete) ... notes Artaud in context of Tarot (page 506/507)

... doesn't contain the word "Tarot"

Theatre of Cruelty - what Artaud is known for
... doesn't contain the word "Tarot"

This is called an important text ...
Les nouvelles révélations de l'Etre ... eletre.htm
... it contains 3 time the word Tarot (I don't know, if this is the complete text)

He had a bad reading of some personal importance, I learn. He took peyote some time before.

This text ... ... ot&f=false
... declares to the above mentioned text: "It is the last work Artaud wrote for publication before his breakdown."

Maybe the above mentioned text appeared in the Artaud work: "The Theatre and its Double" ? This appeared in 1938, the personal breakdown happened in 1937.
If I understand correctly, the 2nd Tarot reading happened at 25th of July (the last that is noted) and he expected something of cruel importance for November 3.

French wiki:
Le 23 septembre 1937, Antonin Artaud est arrêté à Dublin pour vagabondage et trouble de l'ordre public. Le 29, il est embarqué de force sur un paquebot américain faisant escale au Havre. Dès son arrivée, le lendemain, Artaud est remis directement aux autorités françaises qui le conduisent à l'Hôpital général, entravé dans une camisole de force. On le place dans le service des aliénés. Jugé violent, dangereux pour lui-même et pour les autres et souffrant d'hallucinations et d'idées de persécution, il est transféré sous placement d'office à l'hôpital psychiatrique Les Quatre-Mares de Sotteville-lès-Rouen. Artaud racontera plus tard qu'à bord du bateau, on a voulu l'assassiner.

A long time later he recovered a little bit and wrote again a few texts.
En septembre 1946, il écrit L'Adresse au Dalaï Lama et L'Adresse au Pape à l'auberge du Sans-Souci à Sainte-Maxime (Var)56. Il y termine aussi Le Retour d'Artaud le Momo et corrige des textes de 1925 pour les faire figurer dans ses œuvres complètes. Il retourne à Paris où il vivra encore deux ans.

Re: Antonin Artaud (1896 - 1948)

Looking for something else, I came across a reference to an article on this very subject, written by no less than the man who taught Artaud astrology, tarot , etc.

“Manuel Cano de Castro, Rencontre d’Antonin Artaud avec les tarots,” in: K, n° 1-2, juin 1948, « Antonin Artaud. Textes, documents, témoignages ».

Re: Antonin Artaud (1896 - 1948)

This contains some biographical material of Artaud ..
Danièle André-Carraz: L'expérience intérieure d'Antonin Artaud

Cano de Castro, Manuel (1891-1959), seems to have been a painter, born in Costa Rica, living in Spain and France .... ... tro-manuel

"Rencontre d’Antonin Artaud avec les tarots" was written 3 months after the death of Artaud.

According "L'expérience intérieure d'Antonin Artaud" the following text was written in 1937 and was written with the help of the Tarot experience.
ANTONIN ARTAUD: Les nouvelles révélations de l'Etre ... eletre.htm

Here is a German commentary with additional information ...
Die Nouvelles Révélations de l'Etre und das Tarot ... /kap25.pdf
This text seems to be a chapter of a dissertation (author unknown). The full dissertation seems to have this content, it is somehow very strange: ... sAllowed=y

Here is an English biography of Artaud by David A. Shafer with the central focus on 1937: ... ot&f=false

A drug report for Antonin Artaud: The Peyote Dance of Antonin Artaud ... in-artaud/

Re: Antonin Artaud (1896 - 1948)

I’ve now been able to read most of the documents involved, and Artaud’s booklet and its tarotic background are certainly a lot more interesting than Shafer and co. would have us believe. Its intimate structural connection to the Tarot is also noteworthy; something only picked up on by the German author cited above and Monique Streiff Moretti in her article.

The pre-existing English translation is a little problematic, through no fault of the translator, David Rattray, and caused a minor storm in a postmodern teacup across the Atlantic when the French critics discovered that the editor had supplemented the text according to Cano de Castro’s indications, thereby undermining Artaud's arrangement of the piece.

Rattray himself recognised Artaud’s peculiar mode of writing, and acknowledged as much in one of his essays.

The recent book, Artaud 1937 Apocalypse, edited by Stephen Barber, only includes the preface, and not the full text.

For the record, Manuel Cano de Castro was Costa Rican, and not Cuban, as most critics appear to believe, parroting each other’s mistakes. The only study of substance on the man and his work was recently published here, in Spanish: ... Chinchilla

The new French edition of the Nouvelles Révélations de l'Être I have not yet seen, and I do not know whether it includes the additions and corrections (in inverted commas, perhaps?) Artaud wrote in that copy of the work which is now in Harvard (the copy infamously inscribed to Hitler).

All in all, this remarkable booklet is perhaps one of the most singular literary creations in which the Tarot will have played a part.

Re: Antonin Artaud (1896 - 1948)

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: 31 Mar 2021, 08:57 Definitely a bizarrely beautiful text. ... eletre.htm

I'd like to see the manuscript.
I don't think it is extant, but the Harvard copy is here: ... ary-tales/
As I recall, that had belonged to one of Artaud's doctors, but I'd have to check.

Fittingly enough, Artaud's own deck of Tarot cards are now in a museum in Marseilles.