Mad Like Artaud

Written by Sylvère Lotringer; Joanna Spinks (translator)
Written by Sylvère Lotringer
Translated by Joanna Spinks

Univocal, May 2015

Those who are mad like Antonin Artaud, are they just as mad as he was? Madness, like the plague, is contagious, and everyone, from his psychiatrists to his disciples, family, and critics, anyone who gets close to Artaud, seems to participate in his delirium. Sylvère Lotringer explores various embodiments of this shared delirium through what Artaud called “mental dramas”—a series of confrontations with his witnesses or “persecutors” where we uncover the raw delirium at work, even in Lotringer himself. Mad Like Artaud does not intend to add one more layer of commentary to the bitter controversies that have been surrounding the cursed poet’s work since his death in 1948, nor does it take sides among the different camps who are still haggling over his corpse. This book speaks of the site where “madness” itself is simmering.


Sylvère Lotringer, cultural critic and philosopher, is credited with introducing French Theory to American readers.

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