Martin Esslin: Artaud was not “Woke”

Learning the fact that “woke” is actually a Beat term brought back my frustrating memories of the arguments about Artaud between me, who had actually read Artaud’s works, and my ex, who had never read Artaud but was a fan of Allen Ginsberg. While I admire “Howl,” Ginsberg is a disgusting distorter of Antonin Artaud’sContinue reading “Martin Esslin: Artaud was not “Woke””

From Book 1: Performance at l’Atelier

Finally the lights dimmed, along with the patience of the other audience members, whose annoyed glances made everyone shush each other and giggle. Then Roger slipped into the empty seat beside mine. “I said what I did because I assumed you didn’t want to talk about those years,” he whispered. “Now they think they knowContinue reading “From Book 1: Performance at l’Atelier”

From Book 1: Ganymede

            Roger looked around in disgust as we sagged over our food. Génica rested her elbows on the table, holding her sloshing cup in one hand and leaning her cheek in the other, her lashes trembling then jerking upward, only to flutter again. Desnos rubbed his eyes, then put on his glasses and scribbled onContinue reading “From Book 1: Ganymede”

From Book 1: Men vs. Women, Part 3

            Justine trudged up to the back door, turned to fix Louis with a shriveling look, and went in. “Ah, it’s their turn to cook!” Louis cried, and got up to follow her. I meandered over to the kitchen window to spy, and Artaud was at my side.             “Are you ready?” Justine said mysteriouslyContinue reading “From Book 1: Men vs. Women, Part 3”

From Book 1: The Skeleton

            The sun rose, filling the house with light and chasing away the blurry jumble of last night. Whatever I had done in the dark I felt alert now and in good spirits. As soon as everyone dressed and swallowed some coffee we went for a walk on the road. It skirted the forest, whichContinue reading “From Book 1: The Skeleton”

Book Four: Génica

This section presented in its entirety. There were three of us at the Office of the Mairie that day: Louis and me and Génica Athanasiou.             She appeared suddenly, gracefully, in the doorway as we waited in our chairs, and stood momentarily framed in doorway’s rectangle of light so that stray beams caught the copperyContinue reading “Book Four: Génica”

From Book 3: Lise Deharme

This is the night of Balthus’s suicide attempt. Previous scene here. “Desnos really wants to get Artaud into radio,” Deharme said gently to me as the car pulled forward, guided by our faceless driver. “Artaud has a great voice for it; his portrayal of Fantômas was unforgettable! I’ve appreciated working with him. It’s a pityContinue reading “From Book 3: Lise Deharme”

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 1: Hurl his Soul

            Finally Genica and Artaud emerged, carelessly dressed and uncombed and dragging their bags, though I noticed Artaud had taken the time to shave. He was always impeccably clean-shaven, every day, even when he wandered homeless around Paris. He trudged up to Desnos. “Can we go,” he snapped, “so I can have the pleasure ofContinue reading “From Book 1: Hurl his Soul”

From Book 1: Drowning a Mouse

            Justine laid Artaud’s head in her lap and as his arms slipped around her, her fingers stole into his long hair, stroking it longingly. “Tell me that you won’t cut it,” she pleaded.             “I must,” he groaned. “I am going back to my parents’ house this week for the summer, and it’s badContinue reading “From Book 1: Drowning a Mouse”