From Book 3: Fisher of Men

            “Read here,” Breton said, pointing out a passage. “I never know what he’s talking about, but I think it might mean something to you.” I read it out loud:             The Time has come when the Son and the Holy Ghost will enter into conflict and destroy each other to permit the disappearance ofContinue reading “From Book 3: Fisher of Men”

From Book 3: Hit the Jesuit

            Louis patted his pockets, gave me a stupid grin, and went out the door again to bum a cigarette from Desnos. As I approached the corner table, Artaud looked up and his face showed visible relief. “Good! It’s you,” he said, sounding so glad I suppressed the urge to look behind me. “Do meContinue reading “From Book 3: Hit the Jesuit”

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!”

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 3: Vampyr, Anita and Denoël

            In September, the film Vampyr finally came to Paris. It was the opening attraction of a new cinema on the Boulevard Raspail. Like old times the five of us—me, Justine, Desnos, Louis, and Artaud—went to see it. There were actually seven of us, since Artaud brought Sonia and Louis brought a friend of Artaud’sContinue reading “From Book 3: Vampyr, Anita and Denoël”

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”