From Book 3: Edgard Varèse

            He did bring friends over and I welcomed this, but Artaud did this hesitantly when he almost never vacillated on anything else. He also sometimes approached me with trepidation as if I would suddenly refuse his presence. Louis told me privately that Artaud still did this even with his oldest friends, including him. IContinue reading “From Book 3: Edgard Varèse”

From Book 1: Men Versus Women, Part 2

            Desnos pushed up his glasses and smiled. “You do sound like Breton.” He said it admiringly, and as he did he threw a glance at the back seat. “But I think you’re coming at this question from a different direction. He is more content with himself.”             “We’re each approaching the same question fromContinue reading “From Book 1: Men Versus Women, Part 2”

From Book 1: Roulette

            That night, the women declared their own revolution.             “No!” Justine proclaimed with relish as she sat in the dining room drinking coffee with Genica. She and Genica talked over each other as a rumpled Louis stared at them from the doorway. “We’re not going to cook supper for you!” “You can starve forContinue reading “From Book 1: Roulette”

From Book 2: Conflicts

            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: Conflicts”

From Book Four: Another Way

            It was at the Dôme, Artaud’s favorite haunt, that a ghost caught up with me. I was already in a particularly wretched mood that evening when my gaze suddenly lifted from the table to lock with a twin pair of eyes, with familiar but never-before-seen blue-green accusation from the face of Marie-Ange Mallausséna. IContinue reading “From Book Four: Another Way”

From Book 2: Car Thief

            “Don’t mind him. He’s had too much to drink,” I interjected, rising from my place on the floor to go to the fireplace. “Again.” I threw on anther log and surreptitiously dragged a finger across my throat at Desnos. He merely beamed at the murderous glare I gave him. As I turned back toContinue reading “From Book 2: Car Thief”

From Book 3: Tall Enough

Breton’s anger was further stoked when The Enigma of William Tell won the right to be displayed at the Salon des Indépendants in the Grand Palais. Surrealists were not supposed to enter contests, much less win them and have their works hung in museums. Breton issued an order for Dali to appear at his apartmentContinue reading “From Book 3: Tall Enough”

From Book 1: Men versus Women, Part One

            “You’re all right,” Desnos said. “You need something in your stomach, that’s all.” He turned and raised a finger to signal a waiter while I shriveled in embarrassment. When the plate of bread and cheese was set before me I picked up a hunk of bread and held it to my mouth, chewing automaticallyContinue reading “From Book 1: Men versus Women, Part One”

From Book 1: Lucifer

            Desnos was contemplating my blank page, his fingers drumming alongside his jaw. “You’re resisting… In automatic writing you need to speak from your unconscious.”             “I know a quicker way to reach my unconscious,” I rasped, and reached for one of the cognac glasses in the middle of the table. I filled it fromContinue reading “From Book 1: Lucifer”

From Book 1: What’s Your Idea of Adventure?

            Long after I heard Desnos’s heavy breathing in sleep I lay awake, listening to the rain turn the city into layers of chatter like so many synchronized timepieces: the blunt drumming of the houseboat, the slaps on stone, the hollow tinging of a metal roof somewhere. That odd sleepiness, when my heart beat hardContinue reading “From Book 1: What’s Your Idea of Adventure?”