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: I Love You, Part Three

    May 13, 2021 by

    Previous scene here. I walked to the end of rue Blomet and turned right onto the rue de Javel where I found a weather-battered movie house advertising Abel Gance’s Lucrezia Borgia. I went in.             The film was simply dreadful. It had none of the scope or deftness of Gance’s grand epic, Napoléon. I found… Read more

  • From Book 2: I Love You, Part Two

    April 16, 2021 by

                The cold wood of the table felt good against my cheek, and I let my arms dangle as the walls bent themselves around me in crazy angles. Suddenly Artaud’s face was level with mine, and his face showed so much concern that I immediately forgave him for being such a cold fish sometimes. “What… Read more

  • From Book 3: Smuggling Artaud

    April 2, 2021 by

                The Sainte-Anne hospital was a walled compound like a mini-medieval city. It stood not far from the studios of René Thomas and Sonia Mossé. Desnos told us about it after we met. Sainte-Anne had been constructed in the thirteenth century and was named after, of all people, the patron saint Anne of Austria, that… Read more

  • From Book 2: I Love You, Part One

    April 2, 2021 by

                The great Desnos, scrawler of surreal graffiti. One thing for sure, that man was drinking too much lately. It worried me. When he drank his mood-swings became even worse. He would stay drunk for days. Yvonne George, herself drowning in the laudanum bottle, was now ignoring him completely while Breton yelled in the man’s… Read more

  • From Book 4: The Prisoner

    March 19, 2021 by

                In early 1938, at the urging of Artaud’s family and with the intercession of Jean Paulhan, Antonin Artaud was finally transferred from the Quatre-Mares asylum at Rouen to Sainte-Anne, an asylum south of Montparnasse, that mini-walled city near the studios of Sonia Mossé and René Thomas. First Artaud’s mother, now almost seventy years old,… Read more

  • From Book 3: Artaud d’Arc

    March 3, 2021 by

                None of us had the nerve to step into the outer office to tell Artaud’s mother and his sister this news. I sat at the desk and tried to calm myself while Louis and Desnos paced around wordlessly. When Paulhan returned half an hour later, I repeated the news for him. After leaving Ireland… Read more

  • From Book 2: The Sex Discussions, Part Two

    February 19, 2021 by

               This section is presented in its entirety. “I don’t know where my story begins,” I said. “And I wonder if that’s not a lie too, that any story has a beginning. Life just happens and we pick a point and say, ‘It started here,’ when it didn’t really start there, even with one’s birth.”            … Read more

  • From Book 2: The Sex Discussions, Part One

    January 13, 2021 by

    Desnos never locked his door and now this worried me. When I stepped inside I saw a lit candle in a far corner. Artaud lay there on a mattress, and someone lay next to him. Desnos was asleep on his sofa and Roger and Justine lay tangled on his regular mattress, but everyone else had… Read more

  • Stephen Barber’s Newest Work

    January 8, 2021 by

    How much do we love Stephen Barber’s works on Antonin Artaud? My God. He’s right up there with Mary Ann Caws, Martin Esslin and Florence de Mèredieu in my gratitude for his and their research and translations of Artaud, Breton, and Desnos. My next purchase: A Sinister Assassin: Antonin Artaud’s Last Writings, September 1947-March 1948!

  • From Book 2: In Total Darkness

    January 8, 2021 by

                February days turned grey with rain. Trapped inside, I fled the café scene for Louis’s small apartment. We spent a great deal of time together, for the two of us were seeing very little of our other friends lately. “We’re the only people who aren’t successful,” Louis joked, “or failing successfully.”             Justine modeled… Read more

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