‘The Incident at Antioch: A Tragedy in Three Acts’ by Alain Badiou

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The Incident at Antioch is a key play marking Alain Badiou’s transition from classical Marxism to a “politics of subtraction” far removed from party and state. Written with striking eloquence and extraordinary poetic richness, and shifting from highly serious emotional and intellectual drama to surreal comic interlude, the work features statesmen, workers, and revolutionaries struggling to reconcile the nature and practice of politics.

This bilingual edition presents L’Incident d’Antioche in its original French and, on facing pages, an expertly executed English translation. Badiou adds a special preface, and an introduction by the scholar Kenneth Reinhard connects the play to Paul Claudel’s The City, Saint Paul and the early history of the Church, and the innovative mathematical thinking of Paul Cohen. The translation includes Susan Spitzer’s extensive notes clarifying allusions and quotations and hinting at Badiou’s intentions. An interview with Badiou encompasses the play’s settings, themes, and events, as well as his ongoing literary and conceptual experimentation on stage and off.


 The format for the e-book version has been modified. The printed book presented French and English text on facing pages. In the e-book, links at the beginning of each Act and Scene connect to French and English versions.