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Literary Criticism French

Antonin Artaud’s Alternate Genealogies

Self-Portraits and Family Romances

by (author) John C. Stout

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2019
French, Entertainment & Performing Arts, Drama
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 1996
    List Price

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Most readers know Antonin Artaud as a theorist of the theatre and as a playwright, director and actor manqué. Now, John C. Stout’s highly original study installs Artaud as a writer and theorist of biography.

In Alternate Genealogies Stout analyzes two separate but interrelated preoccupations central to Artaud’s work: the self-portrait and the family romance. He shows how Artaud, in several important but relatively neglected texts, rewrites the life stories of historical and literary figures with whom he identifies (for example, Paolo Ucello, Abelard, Van Gogh and Shelley’s Francesco Cenci) in an attempt to reinvent himself through the image, or life, of another. Throughout the book Stout focusses on Artaud’s struggles to recover the sense of self that eludes him and to master the reproductive process by recreating the family in — and as — his own fantasies of it. With this research John C. Stout has added considerably to our understanding of Artaud.

His book will be much appreciated by theatre scholars, Artaud specialists, Freudians, Lacanians and both theorists and practitioners of life writing.

About the author

John C. Stout teaches French at McMaster University. In addition to his work on Antonin Artaud, he has published articles on twentieth–century French poetry and literacy theory. He is currently writing a book on les poètes de l’objet, including Pierre Reverdy, Francis Ponge, Jean Follain, Guillevic and Jean Tortel.

John C. Stout's profile page

Other titles by John C. Stout