From Book 2: Josette and Youki

            Artaud’s own hair, neatly slicked back earlier, had slid loose because of the heat and now hung around his face. It looked strange, for his hair still had a few centimeters to grow until it attained the length it had been a year ago; it fell only to his cheekbones, a chestnut bowl ofContinue reading “From Book 2: Josette and Youki”

From Book 3: Allons-y!

         In the spring of 1932, Breton was exerting more control over an ever-younger coterie, guiding the group’s activities and dominating the discussions. Yet, this did not appear to be entirely his choice. At the Prophete, Justine and I overheard him snarl in a corner to Tristan Tzara (“that Hungarian homunculus shaped like an anarchist’s bomb,”Continue reading “From Book 3: Allons-y!”

Link: Is Ferdière Reliable?

This review of Sylvère Lotringer’s Mad Like Artaud is worth reading, but unfortunately the review is uncritical of “facts” stated by Gaston Ferdière. (Of course, Lotringer ‘s book is great and I highly recommend his lecture at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, too.) “Artaud didn’t wash”? Not according to Cécile Schramme! In my translationContinue reading “Link: Is Ferdière Reliable?”

From Book Three: Dali

            I did an about-face and entered the Select, hoping to see Louis. He wasn’t there, and because it was cold outside no tables inside were open. I leaned against the crowded counter next to a young stranger and ordered a cappuccino. As I lifted my cup, a high-pitched, maniacal scream burst from the lipsContinue reading “From Book Three: Dali”

From Book 3: A Magician

            Catherine came into the kitchen and stood before me, making me focus on her in her robe and slippers. “You barely touched your food tonight,” she began, and I sensed this was only the first salvo.             “With all that’s happening, do you expect me to eat?”             She shook her head, her eyesContinue reading “From Book 3: A Magician”

From Book 3: Why Is He Like This?

            The explosion of health in Artaud over the near-year subsided as toward autumn he again began to experience the headaches and the spinal pain, and most alarming to me the facial cramps which also affected his tongue, a droning in his ears that made him deaf to me, and an extreme intolerance to stimuliContinue reading “From Book 3: Why Is He Like This?”

From Book 3: Our Hobourgeois Needs Help

            While staring into space at Louis’s table in the Dôme one day Artaud’s eyes happened to focus on Genica Athanasiou, who had been pushed toward us by the noonday crowd and was trying to inch past without his noticing. Louis looked up from the sketch he was doing, and I put down the bookContinue reading “From Book 3: Our Hobourgeois Needs Help”

From Book 3: Artaud is Angry at Me

            Over the next few days, Artaud and I avoided each other. I brooded over my words to him and was ashamed of them. Sonia sought me out to say that Artaud was now cold and distant to her. She seemed relieved, but now she was cold and distant to me, too.             Artaud neglectedContinue reading “From Book 3: Artaud is Angry at Me”

From Book 1: Artaud Disturbs People Sometimes

            “Bless her,” Justine whispered when Catherine had gone, “she’s so sweet.” She rubbed her eyes. “The cats will have shredded my curtains by tomorrow. That was your brother, wasn’t it? I thought I would faint. Excuse me!” We watched her snatch the nightgown and flee the room after these disjointed statements.             Roger gazedContinue reading “From Book 1: Artaud Disturbs People Sometimes”