Artaud and Sun: Heliogabalus and contemporary non-anthropocentric theory

Nikolaj Lübecker


This article stages an encounter between Antonin Artaud’s writings from the mid-1930s and selected aspects of contemporary non-anthropocentric theory. First it argues that Heliogabalus; or, The Crowned Anarchist (1934) is a rare example of what can be called ‘a non-anthropocentric biography’; next it begins to tease out an Artaudian theory of expression that includes stones, deserts and the sun; finally it concludes by emphasising that cruelty prevents us from drifting towards a naïve celebration of Nature that would most likely amount to little more than yet another version of anthropocentrism.


Artaud; Heliogabalus; non-anthropocentric theory; expression; cruelty; intensity

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Online Magazine of the Visual Narrative - ISSN 1780-678X