The contemporary theater is decadent because it has lost the feeling on the one hand for seriousness and on the other for laughter; because it has broken away from gravity, from effects that are immediate and painful- in a word, from Danger. Because it has lost a sense of real humor, a sense of laughter's power of physical and anarchic dissociation. Because it has broken away from the spirit of profound anarchy which is at the root of all poetry. Poetry is anarchic to the degree that it brings into play all the relationships of object to object and of form to signification. It is anarchic also to the degree that its occurrence is the consequence of disorder that draws us closer to chaos.
On the contrary, theater seems a sort of frozen world, its artists cramped among gestures that will never be good for anything again, brittle intonations which are already falling to pieces, music reduced to a kind of arithmetic whose figures are beginning to fade, some sort of luminous explosions, themselves congealed and responding to vague traces of movement- and around all this an extraordinary fluttering of men in black suits who quarrel over the receipts, at the threshold of a white-hot box office. As if the theatrical mechanism was reduced to all that surrounds it; and because it is reduced to what surrounds it and because the theater is reduced to everything that is not the theater, its atmosphere stinks in the nostrils of people with taste.