From Book 3: The Seashell and the Clergyman

            On the evening of the premiere of The Seashell and the Clergyman my skin was a riot of inflamed cysts again, and I elected to stay home with an analgesic and a warm towel on my face. It was just as well, for reportedly there was another public scandal. While the raging, lustful priestContinue reading “From Book 3: The Seashell and the Clergyman”

From Book 2: Baudelaire and Artaud

What a curious relationship the reader has with a writer, I thought one day as I sat in my office reading Charles Baudelaire. When a writer’s work was broken off as Baudelaire’s was due to his drinking and carousing, the reader resented what Baudelaire had not written, what he could have written. But what man,Continue reading “From Book 2: Baudelaire and Artaud”

From Book 2: Kraut!

I had a job. Catherine’s father had been eager to hire me. Working for D’Arcy was nothing complicated which was exactly what I wanted, and required only my presence at the hotel desk where I handed out keys and called people down to take telephone calls on the party line. Louis lived there now; tightContinue reading “From Book 2: Kraut!”

From Book 1: Benjamin Peret

            There were voices outside and someone pounded on the door. Desnos answered it and let in a group of five people. Before any introductions could begin more people walked up, so he left the door open to the warm night air. Some of the people I recognized from earlier this evening, but most wereContinue reading “From Book 1: Benjamin Peret”

From Book 2: Kiki and Man Ray

            An adolescent boy’s voice piped up somewhere in the restaurant, answering a woman’s warning tone. The voice sounded familiar, but I could not place it. I turned from the window but I only recognized Kiki standing at the counter. She did not speak, and she did not look at me. The air was tangledContinue reading “From Book 2: Kiki and Man Ray”

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”