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 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: Scatterbrained

            Finally I entered a small, seedy lunch counter and stood looking around at the crowd, mostly men at the zinc counter, wolfing down eggs. Then I meandered to the back of the place and leaned against the wall next to the small telephone station, where a man with his back to me jabbered intoContinue reading “From Book 1: Scatterbrained”

From Book 1: The Surrealist Research Bureau

            In a small storefront on the rue de Grenelle where the Surrealist Research Bureau made its headquarters, we sat on hard chairs with about a dozen young men in a cramped room, and were subjected to a long and tedious lecture by the founder of the movement, André Breton. He seemed a pleasant enoughContinue reading “From Book 1: The Surrealist Research Bureau”

From Book 1: Breton Makes It Official

            Finally he finished, rolled up his rug and stood up, his face collapsing into brown wrinkles as he smiled. He nodded to me, and reached out to playfully slap Artaud’s cheek, again startling the young man. “Peace be with you both!” the Muslim cried, and slipped into the crowd. Artaud’s hand flew to hisContinue reading “From Book 1: Breton Makes It Official”

From Book 3: Cécile and Sacrifice

NOTE: This scene is based on a section of Cecile Schramme’s memoirs, Souvenirs familiers sur Antonin Artaud, Messidor, 1980             Rene Thomas’s studio was a workshop with a skylight and wooden stairs leading to a loft with bedrooms and a bathroom. He and Sonia shared the workshop, although she also had a small working spaceContinue reading “From Book 3: Cécile and Sacrifice”