From Book 1: Teacher's Pet

“How can you keep track of so many people?” I asked. I was already thinking how I could devise a deck of cards to remember them all. Soupault, with his lamppost, was the ace, and Desnos was the joker, of course. I figured Artaud for the king, Péret for the knave, and this Simone couldContinue reading “From Book 1: Teacher's Pet”

From Book 2: The Sex Discussions

Author’s note: What Antonin Artaud had to say about sexuality can raise the hair on your neck and it did mine, at first – but you have to dig deeper to understand that the mania-catatonia that dogged him all his life extended into his sex life in the form of swings between uncontrollable erections andContinue reading “From Book 2: The Sex Discussions”

From Book 2: Waking Dream

            Suddenly, Desnos reappeared. “Hey, everyone,” he interjected, in a snotty tone of false enthusiasm. He gave me a shriveling look. He was so unforgiving! Angered now, I slumped in my chair, shaking my head at him. “Let’s revive an old Surrealist tradition. In honor of our uninitiated guests.” His glare was definitely for me.Continue reading “From Book 2: Waking Dream”

From Book 2: L'Étoile de Mer

Author’s note: My protagonist, yoked to a six-pointed starfish, changes the histories of real people’s lives by entering them, bringing with him the spectre of Fantômas and the possibility of love. Therefore his perception of Desnos’s film is his own. “Let it go, Geoffrey,” Desnos repeated. “Lay low for a couple of weeks.”             “You’reContinue reading “From Book 2: L'Étoile de Mer”

From Book 3: Hazing

While working one day at my desk, which was separated from the bank lobby only by a partition, I looked up suddenly into the grinning, absurd face of Benjamin Péret. “Kind sir,” he oozed from that wide mouth of his while Breton hung back to laugh at me, “the authorities have decreed that every bankContinue reading “From Book 3: Hazing”

From Book 2: Insulting Priests

Consumed by guilt, I haunted the streets and the cafés, though I was beginning to tire of the crowds of sullen businessmen, and the snippy flirts who never fell in love, and the cynical young bohemians leaning over their tables to interrupt each other. Although I had not approached the Surrealist Research Bureau since thatContinue reading “From Book 2: Insulting Priests”

From Book 1: Rue Blomet

            There were voices outside and someone pounded on the door. Desnos answered it and let in a group of five or so. 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 mostContinue reading “From Book 1: Rue Blomet”

From Book 3: Let Us Péret

            The next day Artaud took me to see a friend of his who was in Paris for a few weeks, Jean Painlevé. The man had both filmed and co-starred with Artaud in a cinematic snippet in 1927, Mathuselam or the Eternal Bourgeois, which was interspersed with the live performance of a play of theContinue reading “From Book 3: Let Us Péret”

From Book 3: Portrait of Antonin Artaud

This is based on research of course, but it’s eerie how much I guessed before it was confirmed by research.             He was not what I expected, even after all these years. I discovered there was always more to learn about Antonin Artaud. Like me he experienced sudden vertigo, especially at high places but alsoContinue reading “From Book 3: Portrait of Antonin Artaud”

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”