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Schizoanalytic modernism: the case of Antonin Artaud

Chapter


Abstract


  • We have become so accustomed to speaking about modernism as though it were a

    period in history when certain quite definite things took place, or more particularly,

    when a certain artistic style, or perhaps more strongly, a certain creative mode of

    production, held sway, that we have forgotten the basic fact that in the first instance

    "modernism" was and remains nothing more or less than a concept. It is a word that

    does a certain kind of intellectual work for us. Like all concepts, it is self-positing

    and self-referential: "it posits itself and its object at the same time as it is created:''

    Modernism, as a concept, is defined by its consistency, what it holds together, rather

    than what it refers to; in doing so, it unites the relative and the absolute: "it is relative to

    its own components, to other concepts, to the plane on which it is defined, and to the

    problems it is supposed to resolve; but it is absolute through the condensation it carries

    out, the site it occupies on the plane, and the conditions it assigns to the problem'' (WP,

    21). Its relativity is its pedagogy, Deleuze and Guattari suggest, while its absoluteness

    is its ontology, its ideality, and its reality. If this definition of the concept holds for

    modernism, as I think it does, then it goes some way towards clarifying the difficulties

    many of us have with generalizing concepts like modernism which however precisely

    we try to define them always seem to come up against works that defy categorization.

    Antonin Artaud is an excellent case in point-is he a surrealist, modernist or protopostmodernist?

    He has been claimed by proponents of all three, which suggests these

    categories are leaky, at best.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Buchanan, I. (2014). Schizoanalytic modernism: the case of Antonin Artaud. In P. Ardoin, S. E. Gontarski & L. Mattison (Eds.), Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism (pp. 196-206). New York: Bloomsbury.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1737

Book Title


  • Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism

Start Page


  • 196

End Page


  • 206

Abstract


  • We have become so accustomed to speaking about modernism as though it were a

    period in history when certain quite definite things took place, or more particularly,

    when a certain artistic style, or perhaps more strongly, a certain creative mode of

    production, held sway, that we have forgotten the basic fact that in the first instance

    "modernism" was and remains nothing more or less than a concept. It is a word that

    does a certain kind of intellectual work for us. Like all concepts, it is self-positing

    and self-referential: "it posits itself and its object at the same time as it is created:''

    Modernism, as a concept, is defined by its consistency, what it holds together, rather

    than what it refers to; in doing so, it unites the relative and the absolute: "it is relative to

    its own components, to other concepts, to the plane on which it is defined, and to the

    problems it is supposed to resolve; but it is absolute through the condensation it carries

    out, the site it occupies on the plane, and the conditions it assigns to the problem'' (WP,

    21). Its relativity is its pedagogy, Deleuze and Guattari suggest, while its absoluteness

    is its ontology, its ideality, and its reality. If this definition of the concept holds for

    modernism, as I think it does, then it goes some way towards clarifying the difficulties

    many of us have with generalizing concepts like modernism which however precisely

    we try to define them always seem to come up against works that defy categorization.

    Antonin Artaud is an excellent case in point-is he a surrealist, modernist or protopostmodernist?

    He has been claimed by proponents of all three, which suggests these

    categories are leaky, at best.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Buchanan, I. (2014). Schizoanalytic modernism: the case of Antonin Artaud. In P. Ardoin, S. E. Gontarski & L. Mattison (Eds.), Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism (pp. 196-206). New York: Bloomsbury.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1737

Book Title


  • Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism

Start Page


  • 196

End Page


  • 206