Antonin Artaud (September 4, 1896, in Marseille – March 4, 1948 in Paris) was a French playwright, poet, actor and theatre director. Antonin is a diminutive form of Antoine "little Anthony", and was among a list of names which Artaud used throughout his writing career.
Born Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud in Marseille, France, as the son to Euphrasie Nalpas and Antoine-Roi Artaud. Both his parents were natives of Smyrna (modern day Izmir), and he was greatly affected by his Greek ancestry. His parents had given birth to nine children, however only Antonin and one sister survived infancy. When he was four years old, Artaud had a severe case of meningitis, which gave Artaud a nervous, irritable temperament throughout his adolescence. He also suffered from neuralgia, stammering and severe bouts of clinical depression, this was treated with the use of opium - resulting in a life-long addiction. Artaud's parents arranged a long series of sanatorium stays for their temperamental son, which were both prolonged and expensive. This lasted five years, with a break of two months, June and July 1916, when Artaud was conscripted into the French Army. He was allegedly discharged due to his