Constance Spreen, writing in Modern Language Quarterly 64.1, from 2003:
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During a lengthy, hostile divorce from the surrealist circle in 1926, Antonin Artaud reiterated his eschewal of political engagement in the most vigorous terms. The surrealists’ attempt to graft their spiritual revolution onto Marxist materialism was for him a deleterious deviation from the ideological position that, with Artaud’s participation, those gathered around André Breton had developed the previous year. Demanding a reassertion of the surrealist commitment to “total idealism” [idéalisme intégral], Artaud reaffirmed his qualms before all real action: “My scruples are absolute” (1:71, 66). 1
Despite his uncompromising stance, Artaud found himself profoundly engaged in the “politics of style.” 2 As he began to publish his writings on the theater of cruelty in the early 1930s, he became acutely aware of a “resistance” to his dramaturgical theories. His correspondence reveals that this resistance, to which he repeatedly refers, issued mainly from two sources: the critics at L’action française, the primary mouthpiece of the movement bearing the same name, and Benjamin Crémieux, drama and literary critic at the Nouvelle revue française (NRF).