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”

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”