User account

Antonin Artaud, Stephen Barber (ed.): Artaud 1937 Apocalypse

Antonin Artaud, Stephen Barber (ed.)

Artaud 1937 Apocalypse
Letters from Ireland

Translated by Stephen Barber

with an afterword by Stephen Barber

Softcover, 80 pages

Date of publication: 11.02.2019

The Letters from Ireland

Antonin Artaud’s 1937 apocalyptic journey to Ireland and his writings from that journey form an extraordinary moment of accumulating disintegration and tenacious creativity in his work. After publishing a manifesto prophecy about the catastrophic immediate—future entitled The New Revelations of Being, Artaud abruptly left Paris and travelled to Ireland, remaning there for six weeks and existing without money, travelling first to the isolated island of Inishmore off Ireland’s western coast, then to Galway, and finally to Dublin, where he was arrested as an undesirable alien, beaten by the police, and summarily deported back to France. On his return, he spent nine years in lunatic asylums, including the entire span of the Second World War. During that journey to Ireland—on which he accumulated signs of his forthcoming apocalypse, and planned his own role in it as ‘THE REVEALED ONE’—Artaud wrote letters to friends in Paris and also created several magic spells, intended to curse his enemies and to protect his friends from Paris’s forthcoming incineration and the Antichrist’s appearance at the Deux Magots cafe. To André Breton, he wrote: ‘It’s the Unbelievable—yes, the Unbelievable— it’s the Unbelievable which is the truth.’ Many of his writings from Ireland were lost, and this book collects all of his surviving letters, drawn together from archives and private collections, together with photographs of the locations he travelled through.

This edition, with an afterward and notes by the book’s translator/editor, Stephen Barber, marks the seventieth anniversary of Artaud’s death.

  • insanity /madness
  • writing
  • Ireland
  • history of literature
  • death
  • letters

My language

Selected content
English, French

Stephen Barber

is the author of twenty-five books, including seven novels, most recently Berlin Bodies (Reaktion) and Guyotat: Revolutions and Aberrations (Vauxhall&Co). He has received several awards for his books, which have been translated into many languages, such as Japanese and Chinese. The Independent newspaper (London) once called him “the most dangerous man in Europe.”