It is possible to classify philosophers in two great schools or currents: one that asserts that men think and that, in this sense, thought defi nes their nature, and one that maintains that men do not think (or do not yet think). Averroes [… belongs] to this second group, and all those – from Dante to Spinoza, from Artaud to Heidegger – who subscribe to this thesis are, in this sense, Averroists. Averroism cannot be defi ned solely by the subversive proposition ‘it is not I who thinks what I think’; rather, this must be completed with the equally unexpected codicil: ‘I think in fi ts and starts, across gaps, intermittently’. 1

To most readers of Agamben in 2005 , perhaps the most striking thing about this passage would not be his identifi cation of Averroes as the progenitor of a philosophical school with which he clearly aligns himself, but the inclusion of Antonin Artaud in such an elite list, since there is so little mention of him elsewhere in Agamben’s expansive oeuvre . 2 It is true that the reader might have discerned an Artaudian shadow behind the 1992 essay ‘Notes on Gesture’ or indeed recall the brief mention of Artaud in the opening pages of Agamben’s fi rst book The Man without Content . But it does, in any case, appear that from the beginning of that 1970 book to the text of 2005 Artaud had lain mostly dormant in Agamben’s thought, making it all the more remarkable that he re-emerges there as a fi gure to be enumerated alongside Dante and Heidegger, by any account major fi gures in Agamben’s canon.