Once upon a time, I, Zhuangzi, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awaked, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.

– Zhuangzi

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"Petals were falling like snow, and for a moment, I could not tell where     I was."  - Koi Kaze

"Petals were falling like snow. And for a moment, I could not tell where I was." - Koi Kaze

In my previous entry on cruel anime, I talked about one particular aspect of Artaud‘s Theatre of Cruelty. I’d like to follow that up by delving into more significant aspect of Theatre of Cruelty, which can more or less be summarised by the following:

“[…]Artaud believed that text, such as dialogues used in hollywood flicks, had been a tyrant over meaning, and advocated, instead, for a theatre made up of a unique language that lay halfway between thought and gesture. Artaud’s theatre is made of screamings, cuttings and squirmings.”

Shoujo Tsubaki

left: woman's eyeball about to be slit with a razor in Artaud's clip, right: a boy crushes a puppy into pulps in Midori: Shoujo Tsubaki

Please note that Artaud wasn’t proposing for more eyeballs to be slit in movies. Sadism wasn’t his intention. What’s revolutionary here was the way Artaud appealed to our primal senses through bodily expression instead of resorting to Hollywood’s over-usage of dialogues to convey meanings. We see the blade reach an eye and squirm involuntarily, and immediately perceive and feel. There is no moment to derive meaning, or ponder on its ‘symbolisms’. Only experiencing and living that pure sense of squirming. To further illustrate this point,

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