"That doesn't mean you have to make life in the theatre. As if one could imitate life. What is needed is to rediscover the life of the theatre, in all its freedom."
-- Artaud, "The Evolution of Set Design"
"Cinema: Through poetry, theatre contrasts pictures of the unformulated with the crude visualization of what exists. Besides, from an action viewpoint, one cannot compare a cinema image, however poetic it may be, since it is restricted by the film, with a theatre image which obeys all life's requirements.
"Cruelty: There can be no spectacle without an element of cruelty as the basis of every show. In our present degenerative state, metaphysics must be made to enter the mind through the body."
-- Artaud, "The Theatre of Cruelty--First Manifesto"
Working hypothesis: to be confirmed, disproved, changed, or revised as necessary: that art which calls upon cruelty is--in its social function--diagnostically pessimistic and prescriptively hopeful ... or rather, not hopeful, but active. (Which leads to an uncertain and neutral prognosis, neither fully cynical nor romantic.)