From Book 3: The Spanish Civil War, Part 2

            The spring unwound under slow fingers. Franz and Catherine left for the Pyrenees, taking Aleron with them; he had been ill and Franz thought the mountains would help him. Desnos was working with André Masson on a new book, Les sans cou. Youki and Louis both worked on their art galleries and most ofContinue reading “From Book 3: The Spanish Civil War, Part 2”

From Book 2: I Love You, Part One

            The great Desnos, scrawler of surreal graffiti. One thing for sure, that man was drinking too much lately. It worried me. When he drank his mood-swings became even worse. He would stay drunk for days. Yvonne George, herself drowning in the laudanum bottle, was now ignoring him completely while Breton yelled in the man’sContinue reading “From Book 2: I Love You, Part One”

From Book 3: Artaud d’Arc

            None of us had the nerve to step into the outer office to tell Artaud’s mother and his sister this news. I sat at the desk and tried to calm myself while Louis and Desnos paced around wordlessly. When Paulhan returned half an hour later, I repeated the news for him. After leaving IrelandContinue reading “From Book 3: Artaud d’Arc”

From Book 2: The Sex Discussions, Part Two

           This section is presented in its entirety. “I don’t know where my story begins,” I said. “And I wonder if that’s not a lie too, that any story has a beginning. Life just happens and we pick a point and say, ‘It started here,’ when it didn’t really start there, even with one’s birth.”            Continue reading “From Book 2: The Sex Discussions, Part Two”

From Book 2: In Total Darkness

            February days turned grey with rain. Trapped inside, I fled the café scene for Louis’s small apartment. We spent a great deal of time together, for the two of us were seeing very little of our other friends lately. “We’re the only people who aren’t successful,” Louis joked, “or failing successfully.”             Justine modeledContinue reading “From Book 2: In Total Darkness”

From Book 2: Napoléon

            The role of Roderick Usher went to another actor, but Jean-Paul Marat in Gance’s film Napoléon belonged to Antonin Artaud. We attended the premier held at the Paris Opera. Napoléon Vu par Abel Gance, originally intended as a six-film series, was now a four-hour epic film promised to be on par with D.W. Griffith’sContinue reading “From Book 2: Napoléon”

From Book 3: Mexico and Trotsky

Days later, when I again visited the studio, Artaud had the gall to tease Sonia and me in front of Anita about knowing how to show an attractive young lady a good time on her first visit to Paris. When Anita in her effervescent voice demanded the details, Sonia threw a bottle of ink atContinue reading “From Book 3: Mexico and Trotsky”

From Book 2: Escaping the Police

            Hands tore at me and I threw my fists out blindly, making contact with eyes and cheeks. The air cleared and I crawled onstage. Now Breton was nowhere to be seen. I hauled Desnos up by the arm. Holding his handkerchief against the flow of blood, Desnos stumbled in the direction I shoved himContinue reading “From Book 2: Escaping the Police”

From Book 2: Saint-Pol-Roux’s Banquet

            One evening, while Catherine sat with Suzanne in the dining room planning a supper for our father’s birthday, Franz on the sofa sheepishly unfolded a few old newspaper articles he’d saved. “This should interest you,” he whispered. “Surrealism’s biggest public scandal.” We sat quietly together to read them. The event was an honorary banquetContinue reading “From Book 2: Saint-Pol-Roux’s Banquet”

From Book 2: Morocco

            We stood there looking at each other with the door wide open. From the auditorium a roar of clapping and boos accompanied the appearance of a man onstage, a genteel-looking old peacock obviously accustomed to more civilized public gatherings and who now had the thankless job of introducing André Breton. His tremulous voice wasContinue reading “From Book 2: Morocco”