He gets up, with a shaky hand lights up a Gauloise, and then, pacing the large room: 'I know I have cancer. What I want to say before I die is that I hate psychiatrists. In Rodez, I lived in fear of this phrase: 'Mr Artaud is not eating today, he's got to have his shock (treatment).' I know there are much more abominable tortures. I think of Van Gogh, Nerval and all the others. It's atrocious that in the twentieth century a doctor can seize man under the pretext that he is mad and do with him what he pleases. I have been subjected to 50 electric shocks - that means 50 comas.
From an interview with Antonin Artaud by Jean Marabini in Combat, 5 March 1948
(translated by: Emmanuelle de la Lubie)
Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55 at the Tate Gallery until 5 September.
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