From Book Four: What Hitler Did to Germans Too

Author’s Note: The Nazis were ordered to search the Ville-Évrard Asylum outside Paris while Antonin Artaud was held there. Even Hitler’s soldiers did not like doing this. Hitler abused his own people, denied his relatives (some of whom had mental disabilities), and hid his questionable past. This story needs to be told to finally breakContinue reading “From Book Four: What Hitler Did to Germans Too”

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”

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 4: Breaking into Sainte-Anne

            I pulled her along with me then. An idea, Yvonne had given me an idea. Yvonne followed me all the way to the rue Fontaine, a long walk. “Are we going to see Aube?” she asked eagerly. I nodded and we entered the familiar foyer and went up the steps to Breton’s apartment. AubeContinue reading “From Book 4: Breaking into Sainte-Anne”

From Book 4: Domnine

I understand that Paule Thévenin’s daughter Domnine is still alive. This section is offered with respect and affection.             “Do you know what Artaud is doing now?” Breton told me. “He is learning his ABCs.”             “What?” “He feared he could not write anymore, and he said this to Paule Thévenin and her husband inContinue reading “From Book 4: Domnine”

From Book 4: Resistance

This section presented in its entirety. Let us never forget those who fought so others could be free.             In the protection of a dry creek bed we gobbled our tepid rations and leaned against the embankment in shifts to nap. “How’s your ankle, soldier?” Raymond asked me for the hundredth time as he lappedContinue reading “From Book 4: Resistance”

For Veterans Day: Normandy

In memory of Rupert L. Harley. This section offered in its entirety.             Waiting.             The latrines were coated with diarrhea and vomit. Any bucket within reach of a man was overflowing with vomit. The smell of vomit pervaded the ship and even days of continued rain couldn’t wash it away. No man could eatContinue reading “For Veterans Day: Normandy”

For Veterans Day: Lee and Nusch

            We finally broke out of the hedgerows and trudged into farmland, meeting the crossings of dirt roads, and coming upon the occasional demolished village. Such brave souls Hitler’s troops were, exploding hapless farmers and shopkeepers! The people greeted us as liberators, gathering by the side of the road and cheering, waving handkerchiefs, offering usContinue reading “For Veterans Day: Lee and Nusch”

From Book 4: Trotsky and Nusch

Author’s note: I really, really mourn Nusch Éluard, too. She was Marvelous. Writing this novel series about Artaud and Desnos has led me to love – and to mourn – so many other people: André Breton (though I’m conflicted about him), Benjamin Péret, Paul Éluard, Picasso, Cocteau, Jacques Prével, Paule Thévenin, Jean Paulhan who alsoContinue reading “From Book 4: Trotsky and Nusch”

From Book 4: Blackmailing Fouks

            That evening at dinner—not after it as most people would but during it as Desnos would—we read through The New Revelations of Being, the work I hated and felt was the least like Artaud’s voice. In reading it again of course I changed my mind. Artaud certainly believed his apocalyptic visions. According to RenéContinue reading “From Book 4: Blackmailing Fouks”