[ index | 192519461947 ]


¬ What does it really mean, "To hear death in his voice?" How can one attain the impossible narrative position established from the point of view of one's own death? In 1933 Antonin Artaud gave a lecture at the Sorbonne entitled "Le Théâtre et la Peste" ("The Theater and the Plague"), which was to become a chapter of his masterpiece, Le Théâtre et son double. His presentation is described by Anaïs Nin:

¬ But then, imperceptibly almost, he let go of the thread we were following and began to act out dying by plague. No one quite knew when it began. To illustrate his conference, he was acting out an agony. "La Peste" in French is so much more terrible than "The Plague" in English. But no word could describe what Artaud acted on the platform of the Sorbonne... His face was contorted with anguish, one could see the perspiration dampening his hair. His eyes dilated, his muscles became cramped, his fingers struggled to retain their flexibility. He made one feel the parched and burning throat, the pains, the fever, the fire in the guts. He was in agony. He was screaming. He was delirious. He was enacting his own death, his own crucifiction.

(src: Anaïs Nin, The Diary, 1931-1934, New York, 1966, pp.191-192)

-- Allen S. Weiss: Radio, Death and the Devil (in: Wireless Imagination, edited by Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead, Cambridge, MIT Press, 1992).

1946: "Operation Crossroads", première démonstration publique de l'arsenal atomique américain depuis Nagasaki, soumet 42'000 soldats à des doses de radiation élevées (Atoll Bikini, Pacifique Sud).
Antonin Artaud retourne à Paris après neuf ans d'incarcération.

22-29 nov: Antonin Artaud enregistre "Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu" (dans les studios de la radio française).

1948: Claude Shannon introduit le terme de "bit" (Binary digIT).
Norbert Wiener publie "Cybernetics".
Pierre Schaeffer compose "Cinq études de bruits".
1948-50: Burroughs écrit "Junkie" à Mexico City.