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: Desnos and Youki

    April 20, 2020 by

                The weekend—two days of rain, two days of revelation—was over and now the sun was out, drying up the puddles in the streets, puddles that had caught the glitter and frivolous paper streamers of some Montparnasse street party. The sun turned the glistening streets to dry pavement and raised my fears. Artaud was like… Read more

  • From Book 3: Never!

    April 12, 2020 by

    After the attempted suicide of Valentine Hugo finally faded from the gossip columns, they filled with reports that Foujita had lost millions in a game of baccarat. Youki told Desnos it was not true, but nevertheless she and Foujita received a notice of back taxes owed. When Foujita sent his new secretary to the tax… Read more

  • From Book 3: The Lecture at the Sorbonne

    April 2, 2020 by

                On the night of Artaud’s lecture on “Theatre and the Plague,” Desnos had his radio show to do, and Louis was showing his paintings to an interested buyer, and I could not find Sonia or Anita, so I went to the Sorbonne alone and located Dr. Allendy’s lecture hall.             The square Amphithéâtre Michelet… 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

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