Antonin Artaud is one of the great cultural legends of the 20th century. His Theatre of Cruelty altered the course of modern theatre and his experiments with the Surrealist movement have proved inspirational throughout Europe and America. But Artaud's life was one of terrible failure and confrontation, an exploration of the extremes of agony and joy. At the end of a long series of journeys - both physical and spiritual - aimed at creating a magical culture of the human body, he was arrested and interned for nine years in a succession of French lunatic asylums, where he suffered starvation and was subjected to 50 electroshock treatments. This book is a faithful portrait of his life and work.