To Have Done With The Judgment Of God (Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de dieu)

1947, 39 min.
Antonin Artaud
The final work by French theater artist Antonin Artaud. To Have Done With The Judgment Of God (Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de dieu) was commissioned by French Radio but at the last minute the French Radio Director canceled the broadcast. To Have Done with the Judgment of God had its first radio broadcast twenty years later in 1968, and the piece has been influential in radio art circles since. It’s an extraordinary piece and well worth a close listen with the script by your side in French or translated into English. It’s also powerful to surrender to the sounds and not follow the script. To Have Done with the Judgment of God is divided into 5 parts: A ten-minute introduction performed by Artaud. Then three actors perform each of the next three sections: Tutuguri, the Rite of the Black Sun; The Pursuit of Fecality; and The Question Arises. Then a conclusion, again performed by Artaud. Between each section are wonderful rhythm and musical sections and occasional screams and bodily sounds. Here is an excerpt from the introduction performed by Artaud and translated into English -the text just gets more and more stunning as the piece goes on:
    I didn't know the Americans were such a warlike people. In order to fight one must get shot at and although I have seen many Americans at war they always had huge armies of tanks, airplanes, battleships that served as their shield. I have seen machines fighting a lot but only infinitely far behind them have I seen the men who directed them. Rather than people who feed their horses, cattle, and mules the last tons of real morphine, they have left and replace it with substitutes made of smoke, I prefer the people who eat off the bare earth the delirium from which they were born
Here is a link to the script in French, and in English. But, again, even without understanding the words, the piece packs a wallop. - Described by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2019/2020, Karen Werner.
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