When Antonin Artaud was six, his mother took him to a five-act peep show, where he fell asleep. When Antonin Artaud was seven, his father beat him unmercifully, placed him in a burlap sack and threw him in the Seine. When he awoke, he found himself on stage before a thousand cheering fans, who applauded his efforts to extricate himself from the wet burlap. Never before had they seen such a cruel spectacle. That night Artaud burned down the theater, and with it everything that Western Civilization holds dear.
When Artaud went to a play, he put his eyes in his pocket and blew white smoke rings into the fetid air. When Artaud went to a baseball game, he threw beer bottles at the players and cleared the stands with machine gun fire. When Artaud lived in New York, he slept on grates in the sidewalk and ate fresh blueberry crepes from the dumpsters of fine French restaurants. When Artaud moved to Los Angeles, he ran wild in the streets with the gangs, guns blazing, sirens screaming, hope dying. One night Artaud leapt from the Arc de Triomphe into the smooth darkness, never to be heard from again.
Artaud the quiet outlaw, the frenzied actor, the carrier of plague and deadly force; Antonin Artaud, the man suicided by society.
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