From Book 3: Guernica

            In April the German air force, commanded by Colonel Wolfram von Richthofen, bombed the town of Guernica in Spain which was the center of Basque culture and also the northern bastion of the Republican resistance movement. The two-hour assault by a squadron of Junkers warplanes leveled the town. The young men were away fightingContinue reading “From Book 3: Guernica”

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 3: The Spanish Civil War, Part 1

            The next morning, my brother and I agreed to spend a day apart.             I showed my photograph to shopkeepers, to hotel clerks, to women in the street. No one had seen Justine. I ended up in a graveyard, sitting on a toppled gravestone and staring at her photograph. Now I doubted Justine hadContinue reading “From Book 3: The Spanish Civil War, Part 1”

From Book 4: Meeting with Dr. Toulouse

But what shall become of him? —Letter, Aurélien-Marie Lugné-Poe to Dr. Edouard Toulouse Dr. Edouard Toulouse was a dapper, pleasant gentleman of average height who had an oval face, a strong chin and twinkling, startling eyes behind round glasses. He left his hat with Catherine and walked right up to me to shake my hand, unintentionallyContinue reading “From Book 4: Meeting with Dr. Toulouse”

From Book 3: Artaud, Anais Nin and Henry Miller

Previous scene here (the lecture at the Sorbonne).             Hulkish Allendy appeared in the doorway, eyes glowering from beneath his brows. His own drooping beard barely moved when he spoke. “Get him out of here.” He and the blushing man seized my arms and dragged me to the entrance. My laughter bounced over the headsContinue reading “From Book 3: Artaud, Anais Nin and Henry Miller”

From Book 3: I Love You, Part Three

Previous scene here. I walked to the end of rue Blomet and turned right onto the rue de Javel where I found a weather-battered movie house advertising Abel Gance’s Lucrezia Borgia. I went in.             The film was simply dreadful. It had none of the scope or deftness of Gance’s grand epic, Napoléon. I foundContinue reading “From Book 3: I Love You, Part Three”

From Book 2: I Love You, Part Two

            The cold wood of the table felt good against my cheek, and I let my arms dangle as the walls bent themselves around me in crazy angles. Suddenly Artaud’s face was level with mine, and his face showed so much concern that I immediately forgave him for being such a cold fish sometimes. “WhatContinue reading “From Book 2: I Love You, Part Two”

From Book 3: Smuggling Artaud

            The Sainte-Anne hospital was a walled compound like a mini-medieval city. It stood not far from the studios of René Thomas and Sonia Mossé. Desnos told us about it after we met. Sainte-Anne had been constructed in the thirteenth century and was named after, of all people, the patron saint Anne of Austria, thatContinue reading “From Book 3: Smuggling Artaud”

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”