Heliogabalus or the wreathed Anarquist
Just seventy years after of Antonin Artaud’s death, we publish one of its most emblematic works that, until now, we had not been able to read in Catalan: Heliogabalus or the wreathed Anarchist, translated by Xavier Valls Guinovart and with an epilogue of Arnau Pons. Heliogabalus is the key part within the work of Artaud. Relevant within the French surrealism, it had a strong impact on the literature of that time for his groundbreaking vision of moral and religious rites.
It is showed as a biography of the Roman emperator Heliogabalus, who reigned between 218 and 222 a.C, but it is narrated on Artaud’s way; avoiding simplicity, creating a lyrical atmosphere, and with a strange beauty in the speech that needs the full attention of the reader. The priest el-gabal started reigning when he was 14 years old, thank to the intrigues of his mother and his grandmother. From the first moment he is shown as an atypical sovereign, willing to impose the traditions and cults of his origins, Syria, a behaviour that is viewed with horror by the conservative Romans. His figure evokes the arbitrary tyranny and the moral disorder, aspects that Artaud turns around as a sacred mission: to subvert the false order of what is reasonable and to establish the domain of the confronted principles of life and death.
The work contains an epilogue of a well-known figure in the study of the work of Artaud, Arnau Pons, who is also known as a poet and essayist. The book is the second volume of the collection BÈSTIES Butxaca (pocket), which publishes texts of the authors that Edicions Poncianes have already published in poster format (in the collection Bèsties), with the purpose of deepening on the authors that, on posters, you can discover.
Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), French poet, playwright, essayist, actor and theater director, one of the key figures of the vanguardist movement on 20th century and one of the fathers of contemporary theater. On 1932 he writes Theater of Cruelty, manifesto published to the Nouvelle Revue Francese, where, together with The theater and its double (1938) or Heliogabalus (1934), he built the bases of the avant-garde drama. Crazy and tramp, at the end of his life he spent more than ten years interned in mental asylums. Shortly before dying, was published one of his most famous works, Van Gogh, who committed suicide by society (1947).
Xavier Valls Guinovart has leaded several cycles of reading, seminars and reading workshops, such as the one avout the poem of Guilgamesh. He has translated the works L’autonomia en i entre cossos polítics, from Gerard Rosich, Manifest Folk, from Alessandro Sciarroni, Conversa al jardí, from Bouchra Khalili, La saga del volcà, Joan Jonas and Les vuit muntanyes, Paolo Cognetti, among others.