Antonin Artaud’s Heliogabalus is simultaneously his most extreme, revolutionary and deranged book, and likely now also to prove his most influential in the contemporary moment with the publication by Infinity Land Press of this first complete English-language translation, by Alexis Lykiard.
Dating from the period when Artaud was preparing his legendary
‘Theatre of Cruelty’ experiments, Heliogabalus anatomises and recreates the sperm and blood-constellated life of the infamous Roman emperor who was assassinated by his own guards at the age of 18 after four years spent relentlessly deriding and disintegrating the empire’s power. Artaud asserts that ‘The entire life of Heliogabalus is anarchy in action... fire,
gesture, blood, cry... Fanatical, a real king, a rebel, a crazed individualist.’
Artaud explicitly wrote his account of Heliogabalus’s acts as an embodiment of himself and of his own insurgency in art. Three years after the book’s publication, he was incarcerated in a lunatic asylum, emerging only shortly before his death in 1948.
This edition includes an introduction by Stephen Barber and his
translations of all of the surviving letters written by Artaud about his work on Heliogabalus.
Heliogabalus or, the Crowned Anarchist
190 x 148mm