From Book 3: Lise Deharme

This is the night of Balthus’s suicide attempt. Previous scene here. “Desnos really wants to get Artaud into radio,” Deharme said gently to me as the car pulled forward, guided by our faceless driver. “Artaud has a great voice for it; his portrayal of Fantômas was unforgettable! I’ve appreciated working with him. It’s a pityContinue reading “From Book 3: Lise Deharme”

From Book 1: Correspondence with Jacque Riviere

An idea occurred to me that I long resisted but find very attractive… Why don’t we publish, instead of your poems, our correspondence? I have reread it, and your January 29 letter is particularly remarkable. Perhaps we should include a bit of your poetry, or your essay on Uccello? The effect would be a sortContinue reading “From Book 1: Correspondence with Jacque Riviere”

From Book 3: A Tragic Misdiagnosis

Author’s note: In adolescence Artaud was diagnosed with hereditary syphilis. He denied this and I doubt he had it. However, Artaud sought out doctors for various cures that may have done him even more damage. This paper describes the consequences of a tragic misdiagnosis.             At last I convinced Artaud to see my own doctor,Continue reading “From Book 3: A Tragic Misdiagnosis”

From Book 1: Rue Blomet

            There were voices outside and someone pounded on the door. Desnos answered it and let in a group of five or so. 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 mostContinue reading “From Book 1: Rue Blomet”

From Book 3: Let Us Péret

            The next day Artaud took me to see a friend of his who was in Paris for a few weeks, Jean Painlevé. The man had both filmed and co-starred with Artaud in a cinematic snippet in 1927, Mathuselam or the Eternal Bourgeois, which was interspersed with the live performance of a play of theContinue reading “From Book 3: Let Us Péret”

From Book 3: Nin and the Cane

Author’s note: Artaud’s cane disturbed people, but Breton had one (and he used it as a weapon), Anaïs Nin’s father had one (and killed a cat with it), and Nin’s lover/psychoanalyst René Allendy beat her with one – but only Antonin Artaud got locked up in asylums. Though Artaud’s later embrace of celibacy (or shamContinue reading “From Book 3: Nin and the Cane”

From Book 3: The Sins of Nin, Part Two

Again, I use the diary of Anais Nin as a resource because I think it accurate about events, but not interpretations.             Franz, for his part, came to the supper table at night irritated at the French attitude toward money. “I’m sick of their peasant thrift,” he grumbled. “All these hard-headed villagers are flocking toContinue reading “From Book 3: The Sins of Nin, Part Two”

From Book 3: The Sins of Nin, Part One

Author’s note: If I could go back in time I would definitely protect him from this venomous female.             In the light from the lamp in the kitchen we ate and listened to the storm. I saw him examine me for a moment before he spoke again. I wasn’t so dim that I could notContinue reading “From Book 3: The Sins of Nin, Part One”

From Book 1: Hurl his Soul

            Finally Genica and Artaud emerged, carelessly dressed and uncombed and dragging their bags, though I noticed Artaud had taken the time to shave. He was always impeccably clean-shaven, every day, even when he wandered homeless around Paris. He trudged up to Desnos. “Can we go,” he snapped, “so I can have the pleasure ofContinue reading “From Book 1: Hurl his Soul”

From Book 1: Drowning a Mouse

            Justine laid Artaud’s head in her lap and as his arms slipped around her, her fingers stole into his long hair, stroking it longingly. “Tell me that you won’t cut it,” she pleaded.             “I must,” he groaned. “I am going back to my parents’ house this week for the summer, and it’s badContinue reading “From Book 1: Drowning a Mouse”