To Have Done with the Judgement of God, a radio play by Antonin Artaud

kré puc te
kré Everything must puk te
pek be arranged li le
kre to a hair pek ti le
e in a fulminating kruk
pte order.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I learned yesterday

(I must be behind the times, or perhaps it’s only a false rumor,

one of those pieces of spiteful gossip that are circulated between

sink and latrine at the hour when meals that have been ingurgitated

one more time are thrown in the slop buckets),

I learned yesterday

one of the most sensational of those official practices of American

public schools

which no doubt account for the fact that this country believes itself

to be in the vanguard of progress,

It seems that, among the examinations or tests required of a child

entering public school for the first time, there is the so-called

seminal fluid or sperm test,

which consists of asking this newly entering child for a small

amount of his sperm so it can be placed in a jar

and kept ready for any attempts at artificial insemination that

might later take place.

For Americans are finding more and more that they lack muscle

and children,

that is, not workers

but soldiers,

and they want at all costs and by every possible means to make

and manufacture soldiers

with a view to all the planetary wars which might later take place,

and which would be intended to demonstrate by the overwhelming

virtues of force

the superiority of American products,

and the fruits of American sweat in all fields of activity and of the

superiority of the possible dynamism of force.

Because one must produce,

one must by all possible means of activity replace nature

wherever it can be replaced,

one must find a major field of action for human inertia,

the worker must have something to keep him busy,

new fields of activity must be created,

in which we shall see at last the reign of all the fake manufactured


of all the vile synthetic substitutes

in which beatiful real nature has no part,

and must give way finally and shamefully before all the victorious

substitute products

in which the sperm of all artificial insemination factories

will make a miracle

in order to produce armies and battleships.

No more fruit, no more trees, no more vegetables, no more plants

pharmaceutical or otherwise and consequently no more food,

but synthetic products to satiety,

amid the fumes,

amid the special humors of the atmosphere, on the particular axes

of atmospheres wrenched violently and synthetically from the

resistances of a nature which has known nothing of war except


And war is wonderful, isn’t it?

For it’s war, isn’t it, that the Americans have been preparing for

and are preparing for this way step by step.

In order to defend this senseless manufacture from all competition

that could not fail to arise on all sides,

one must have soldiers, armies, airplanes, battleships,

hence this sperm

which it seems the governments of America have had the effrontery

to think of.

For we have more than one enemy

lying in wait for us, my son,

we, the born capitalists,

and among these enemies

Stalin’s Russia

which also doesn’t lack armed men.

All this is very well,

but 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


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

I mean the Tarahumara

eating Peyote off the ground

while they are born,

and who kill the sun to establish the kingdom of black night,

and who smash the cross so that the spaces of spaces can never

again meet and cross.

And so you are going to hear the dance of TUTUGURI.


The Rite of the Black Sun

And below, as if at the foot of the bitter slope,

cruelly despairing at the heart,

gapes the circle of the six crosses,

very low

as if embedded in the mother earth,

wrenched from the foul embrace of the mother

who drools.

The earth of black coal

is the only damp place

in this cleft rock.

The Rite is that the new sun passes through seven points before

blazing on the orifice of the earth.

And there are six men,

one for each sun,

and a seventh man

who is the sun

in the raw

dressed in black and in red flesh.

But, this seventh man

is a horse,

a horse with a man leading him.

But it is the horse

who is the sun

and not the man.

At the anguish of a drum and a long trumpet,


the six men

who were lying down,

rolling level with the ground,

leap up one by one like sunflowers,

not like suns

but turning earths,

water lilies,

and each leap

corresponds to the increasingly somber

and restrained

gong of the drum

until suddenly he comes galloping, at vertiginous speed,

the last sun,

the first man,

the black horse with a

    naked man,

    absolutely naked

    and virgin

    riding it.

After they leap up, they advance in winding circles

and the horse of bleeding meat rears

and prances without a stop

on the crest of his rock

until the six men

have surrounded


the six crosses.

Now, the essence of the Rite is precisely


When they have stopped turning

they uproot

the crosses of earth

and the naked man

on the horse

holds up

an enormous horseshoe

which he has dipped in a gash of his blood.

The Pursuit of Fecality

There where it smells of shit

it smells of being.

Man could just as well not have shat,

not have opened the anal pouch,

but he chose to shit

as he would have chosen to live

instead of consenting to live dead.

Because in order not to make caca,

he would have had to consent

not to be,

but he could not make up his mind to lose


that is, to die alive.

There is in being

something particularly tempting for man

and this something is none other than


(Roaring here.)

To exist one need only let oneself be,

but to live,

one must be someone,

to be someone,

one must have a BONE,

not be afraid to show the bone,

and to lose the meat in the process.

Man has always preferred meat

to the earth of bones.

Because there was only earth and wood of bone,

and he had to earn his meat,

there was only iron and fire

and no shit,

and man was afraid of losing shit

or rather he desired shit

and, for this, sacrificed blood.

In order to have shit,

that is, meat,

where there was only blood

and a junkyard of bones

and where there was no being to win

but where there was only life to lose.

    o reche modo

    to edire

    di za

    tau dari

    do padera coco

At this point, man withdrew and fled.

Then the animals ate him.

It was not a rape,

he lent himself to the obscene meal.

He relished it,

he learned himself

to act like an animal

and to eat rat


And where does this foul debasement come from?

The fact that the world is not yet formed,

or that man has only a small idea of the world

and wants to hold on to it forever?

This comes from the fact that man,

one fine day,


the idea of the world.

Two paths were open to him:

that of the infinite without,

that of the infinitesimal within.

And he chose the infinitesimal within.

Where one need only squeeze

the spleen,

the tongue,

the anus

or the glans.

And god, god himself squeezed the movement.

Is God a being?

If he is one, he is shit.

If he is not one

he does not exist.

But he does not exist,

except as the void that approaches with all its forms

whose most perfect image

is the advance of an incalculable group of crab lice.

“You are mad Mr. Artaud, what about the mass?”

I deny baptism and the mass.

There is no human act,

on the internal erotic level,

more pernicious than the descent

of the so-called jesus-christ

onto the altars.

No one will believe me

and I can see the public shrugging its shoulders

but the so-called christ is none other than he

who in the presence of the crab louse god

consented to live without a body,

while an army of men

descended from a cross,

to which god thought he had long since nailed them,

has revolted,

and, armed with steel,

with blood,

with fire, and with bones,

advances, reviling the Invisible

to have done with GOD’S JUDGMENT.

The Question Arises …

What makes it serious

is that we know

that after the order

of this world

there is another.

What is it like?

We do not know.

The number and order of possible suppositions in

this realm

is precisely


And what is infinity?

That is precisely what we do not know!

It is a word

that we use

to indicate

the opening

of our consciousness

toward possibility

beyond measure,

tireless and beyond measure.

And precisely what is consciousness?

That is precisely what we do not know.

It is nothingness.

A nothingness

that we use

to indicate

when we do not know something

from what side

we do not know it

and so

we say


from the side of consciousness,

but there are a hundred thousand other sides.


It seems that consciousness

in us is


to sexual desire

and to hunger;

but it could

just as well

not be linked

to them.

One says,

one can say,

there are those who say

that consciousness

is an appetite,

the appetite for living;

and immediately

alongside the appetite for living,

it is the appetite for food

that comes immediately to mind;

as if there were not people who eat

without any sort of appetite;

and who are hungry.

For this too


to be hungry

without appetite;



the space of possibility

was given to me one day

like a loud fart

that I will make;

but neither of space,

nor possibility,

did I know precisely what it was,

and I did not feel the need to think about it,

they were words

invented to define things

that existed

or did not exist

in the face of

the pressing urgency

of a need:

the need to abolish the idea,

the idea and its myth,

and to enthrone in its place

the thundering manifestation

of this explosive necessity:

to dilate the body of my internal night,

the internal nothingness

of my self

which is night,



but which is explosive affirmation

that there is


to make room for:

my body.

And truly

must it be reduced to this stinking gas,

my body?

To say that I have a body

because I have a stinking gas

that forms

inside me?

I do not know


I do know that











are nothing to me;

but there is a thing

which is something,

only one thing

which is something,

and which I feel

because it wants


the presence

of my bodily


the menacing,

never tiring


of my


however hard people press me with questions

and however vigorously I deny all questions,

there is a point

at which I find myself compelled

to say no,



to negation;

and this point

comes when they press me,

when they pressure me

and when they handle me

until the exit

from me

of nourishment,

of my nourishment

and its milk,

and what remains?

That I am suffocated;

and I do not know if it is an action

but in pressing me with questions this way

until the absence

and nothingness

of the question

they pressed me

until the idea of body

and the idea of being a body

was suffocated

in me,

and it was then that I felt the obscene

and that I farted

from folly

and from excess

and from revolt

at my suffocation.

Because they were pressing me

to my body

and to the very body

and it was then

that I exploded everything

because my body

can never be touched.


– And what was the purpose of this broadcast, Mr. Artaud?

– Primarily to denounce certain social obscenities officially sanctioned and acknowledged: this emission of infantile sperm donated by children for the artificial insemination of fetuses yet to be born and which will be born in a century or more. To denounce, in this same American people who occupy the whole surface of the former Indian continent, a rebirth of that warlike imperialism of early America that caused the pre-Columbian Indian tribes to be degraded by the aforesaid people.

– You are saying some very bizarre things, Mr. Artaud.

– Yes, I am saying something bizarre, that contrary to everything we have been led to believe, the pre-Columbian Indians were a strangely civilized people and that in fact they knew a form of civilization based exclusively on the principle of cruelty.

– And do you know precisely what is meant by cruelty?

– Offhand, no, I don’t.

– Cruelty means eradicating by means of blood and until blood flows, god, the bestial accident of unconscious human animality, wherever one can find it.

– Man, when he is not restrained, is an erotic animal,

he has in him an inspired shudder,

a kind of pulsation

that produces animals without number which are the form that the ancient tribes of the earth universally attributed to god.

This created what is called a spirit.

Well, this spirit originating with the American Indians is
reappearing all over the world today under scientific poses
which merely accentuate its morbid infectuous power, the marked
condition of vice, but a vice that pullulates with diseases,

because, laugh if you like,

what has been called microbes

    is god,

and do you know what the Americans and the Russians use to
make their atoms?

They make them with the microbes of god.

    • How’s that?

      and with god

      his organs.

  • – You are raving, Mr. Artaud.

    You are mad.
    – I am not raving.

    I am not mad.

    I tell you that they have reinvented microbes in order to impose
    a new idea of god.

    They have found a new way to bring out god and to capture him
    in his microbic noxiousness.

    This is to nail him though the heart,

    in the place where men love him best,

    under the guise of unhealthy sexuality,

    in that sinister appearance of morbid cruelty that he adopts

    whenever he is pleased to tetanize and madden humanity as he

    is doing now.

    He utilizes the spirit of purity and of a consciousness that has

    remained candid like mine to asphyxiate it with all the false

    appearances that he spreads universally through space and this

    is why Artaud le Mômo can be taken for a person suffering

    from hallucinations.

    – What do you mean, Mr. Artaud?

    – I mean that I have found the way to put an end to this ape once
    and for all

    and that although nobody believes in god any more everybody
    believes more and more in man.

    So it is man whom we must now make up our minds to emasculate.

    – How’s that?

    No matter how one takes you you are mad, ready for the straitjacket.

    – By placing him again, for the last time, on the autopsy table to
    remake his anatomy.

    I say, to remake his anatomy.

    Man is sick because he is badly constructed.

    We must make up our minds to strip him bare in order to scrape
    off that animalcule that itches him mortally,

    For you can tie me up if you wish,

    but there is nothing more useless than an organ.

    When you will have made him a body without organs,

    then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions

    and restored him to his true freedom.

    They you will teach him again to dance wrong side out

    as in the frenzy of dance halls

    and this wrong side out will be his real place.

To Have Done with the Judgement of God

(Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu), a radio play by Antonin Artaud (1947).

    • Excerpted from the collection:

      Antonin Artaud

      Selected Writings

      Edited, and with an Introduction by

      Susan Sontag

      Translated from the French, Oeuvres complètes, by

      Helen Weaver

      Published by

      University of California Press

      Berkeley Los Angeles

      ISBN 0-520-06443-7 (paperback)

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