All Excerpts

  • From Book 3: Portrait of Antonin Artaud

    November 27, 2019 by

    This is based on research of course, but it’s eerie how much I guessed before it was confirmed by research.             He was not what I expected, even after all these years. I discovered there was always more to learn about Antonin Artaud. Like me he experienced sudden vertigo, especially at high places but also… Read more

  • From Book 3: Schubert and Syphilis

    March 8, 2020 by

                It had grown quite dark, and the room was warm and close. He turned on the lamp, and there was a knock at the door. Artaud gave me an acid smile, then strode to the door in his bare feet and without my permission opened it. I half-expected him to make his escape then.… Read more

  • Martin Esslin: Artaud was not “Woke”

    February 22, 2020 by

    Learning the fact that “woke” is actually a Beat term brought back my frustrating memories of the arguments about Artaud between me, who had actually read Artaud’s works, and my ex, who had never read Artaud but was a fan of Allen Ginsberg. While I admire “Howl,” Ginsberg is a disgusting distorter of Antonin Artaud’s… Read more

  • From Book 1: Performance at l’Atelier

    February 21, 2020 by

    Finally the lights dimmed, along with the patience of the other audience members, whose annoyed glances made everyone shush each other and giggle. Then Roger slipped into the empty seat beside mine. “I said what I did because I assumed you didn’t want to talk about those years,” he whispered. “Now they think they know… Read more

  • From Book 4: What Hitler Did to Germans Too

    February 7, 2020 by

    Author’s Note: The Nazis were ordered to search the Ville-Évrard Asylum outside Paris while Antonin Artaud was held there. Even Hitler’s soldiers did not like doing this. Hitler abused his own people, denied his relatives (some of whom had mental disabilities), and hid his questionable past. This story needs to be told to finally break… Read more

  • From Book 3: A Night on the rue Mazarine

    January 27, 2020 by

                Artaud was galvanized after his return to Paris. He wrote to and met with Breton frequently, but something about him was different. Now he had Cécile Schramme, who had waited for him. Everyone noticed the remarkable effect that this young Belgian girl seemed to have on the thirty-nine year-old man. He became energetic, humorous… Read more

  • From Book 1: A Night on the rue Blomet

    January 25, 2020 by

                There were voices outside and someone pounded on the door. Desnos answered it and let in a group of five people. Before any introductions could begin more people walked up, so he left the door open to the warm night air. Some of the people I recognized from earlier this evening, but most were… Read more

  • From Book 1: Teacher’s Pet

    January 15, 2020 by

    “How can you keep track of so many people?” I asked. I was already thinking how I could devise a deck of cards to remember them all. Soupault, with his lamppost, was the ace, and Desnos was the joker, of course. I figured Artaud for the king, Péret for the knave, and this Simone could… Read more

  • From Book 3: The Cenci

    January 13, 2020 by

                In May, Louis, Anita, Justine and I attended the premiere of The Cenci with Desnos and Youki. It was a gala performance with many society members in attendance, including the Prince of Greece. The nobility stumbled about in the cramped foyer alongside the intellectuals who jabbered with their berets pressed close together. The venue,… Read more

  • From Book 2: Kiki, Foujita, and Duchamp

    January 12, 2020 by

                Kiki of Montparnasse was a voluptuous, ribald woman with a mop of curly brown hair. Born into poverty in the provinces, she had traveled to Paris for work and and was adopted by the artists who gave Montparnasse its special life. Kiki sang in nightclubs and painted and modeled for Man Ray’s bizarre photographs.… Read more

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