Antonin Artaud wrote Here Lies
and The Indian Culture
soon after his release from the psychiatric hospital of Rodez and his return to Paris, and they were published during the flurry of intensive activity and protests against his work's censorship. The Indian Culture
is the first and most ambitious work of Artaud's last period. It deals with his travels in Mexico in 1936 where Artaud sets aside his usual preoccupations with peyote and the Tarahumara people's sorcerers to directly anatomize his obsessions with gods, corporeality, and sexuality. Here Lies
is Artaud's final declaration of autonomy for his own body from its birth to its imminent death, won at the cost of multiple battles against the infiltrating powers amassed to steal that birth and death away from him. Both works demonstrate Artaud's final poetry as a unique amalgam of delicate linguistic invention and ferociously obscene invective.
“Here Lies” preceded by “The Indian Culture”
was translated by the award-winning translator Clayton Eshleman, widely seen as the preeminent translator into English of Artaud's work, with its profound intensity and multiply nuanced language. For the first time since its first publication, this bilingual edition presents the two works in one volume, as Artaud originally intended. This edition also features a contextual afterword by Stephen Barber
as well as new material, previously untranslated into English.
French dramatist, poet, essayist, actor, and theater director Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) is one of the seminal figures of twentieth century writing
, art and sound experimentation, known especially for his work with the Surrealist
movement, his performance theories, his asylum incarcerations, and his artworks which have been exhibited in major exhibitions, at New York's MoMA and many other art-museums.