From Book Four: Body without Organs

Author’s note: This takes place in 1975, the year my epic story of Antonin Artaud finally ends. This section is also in memory of Robert Artaud, no relation to Antonin, who was a member of the French Resistance, and in memory Artaud’s young brother Robert who died in infancy.             We flew to Marseilles andContinue reading “From Book Four: Body without Organs”

From Book 2: The Sex Discussions

Author’s note: What Antonin Artaud had to say about sexuality can raise the hair on your neck and it did mine, at first – but you have to dig deeper to understand that the mania-catatonia that dogged him all his life extended into his sex life in the form of swings between uncontrollable erections andContinue reading “From Book 2: The Sex Discussions”

From Book 2: Waking Dream

            Suddenly, Desnos reappeared. “Hey, everyone,” he interjected, in a snotty tone of false enthusiasm. He gave me a shriveling look. He was so unforgiving! Angered now, I slumped in my chair, shaking my head at him. “Let’s revive an old Surrealist tradition. In honor of our uninitiated guests.” His glare was definitely for me.Continue reading “From Book 2: Waking Dream”

A Proposal: You've Been Artold!

Surely you’ve heard of Rick Rolling? I’m wracking my brains for a way to get President Trump (aka His Orangeness, aka Carrot Caligula) to recite part of Antonin Artaud’s “To Have Done with God’s Judgment” in a speech! And other world figures, too. Suggestions and collusion are welcome.

Book Four: Génica

This section presented in its entirety. There were three of us at the Office of the Mairie that day: Louis and me and Génica Athanasiou.             She appeared suddenly, gracefully, in the doorway as we waited in our chairs, and stood momentarily framed in doorway’s rectangle of light so that stray beams caught the copperyContinue reading “Book Four: Génica”

From Book 2: L'Étoile de Mer

Author’s note: My protagonist, yoked to a six-pointed starfish, changes the histories of real people’s lives by entering them, bringing with him the spectre of Fantômas and the possibility of love. Therefore his perception of Desnos’s film is his own. “Let it go, Geoffrey,” Desnos repeated. “Lay low for a couple of weeks.”             “You’reContinue reading “From Book 2: L'Étoile de Mer”

From Book 2: Desnos, the Select, and Theatre Alfred Jarry

Author’s note: I have long been frustrated with misinterpretations of Artaud merely as “mad,” a cold person, and a failure. Like Martin Esslin correcting the Beats’ version of Artaud, Kimberly Jannarone unearths the powerful admiration Artaud’s friends and colleagues had for him and I am grateful to her for restoring the Theatre Alfred Jarry toContinue reading “From Book 2: Desnos, the Select, and Theatre Alfred Jarry”

From Book 3: Hazing

While working one day at my desk, which was separated from the bank lobby only by a partition, I looked up suddenly into the grinning, absurd face of Benjamin Péret. “Kind sir,” he oozed from that wide mouth of his while Breton hung back to laugh at me, “the authorities have decreed that every bankContinue reading “From Book 3: Hazing”

From Book 2: Jacques Vaché

Author’s note: Jokes about and variations on the slur “po-wet” and references to the Three Musketeers are central to the novels. The blindfold came off and I looked around, bewildered, as we entered the metro again. It was jammed with people. “Toward Charenton!” Roger announced, seeing my blank look.             “To check ourselves in?” IContinue reading “From Book 2: Jacques Vaché”

From Book 2: Insulting Priests

Consumed by guilt, I haunted the streets and the cafés, though I was beginning to tire of the crowds of sullen businessmen, and the snippy flirts who never fell in love, and the cynical young bohemians leaning over their tables to interrupt each other. Although I had not approached the Surrealist Research Bureau since thatContinue reading “From Book 2: Insulting Priests”