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 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 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”

From Book 4: Breaking into Sainte-Anne

            I pulled her along with me then. An idea, Yvonne had given me an idea. Yvonne followed me all the way to the rue Fontaine, a long walk. “Are we going to see Aube?” she asked eagerly. I nodded and we entered the familiar foyer and went up the steps to Breton’s apartment. AubeContinue reading “From Book 4: Breaking into Sainte-Anne”

From Book 3: Aube

I understand Aube Elléouët-Breton still lives in Paris. This fictional section is offered in respect and affection. It is October, 1937 and Jacqueline Lamba has quarreled with her husband and left Paris for a time, leaving Aube with her father.             Artaud was still lecturing in Mexico City, and Louis was preoccupied with his upcomingContinue reading “From Book 3: Aube”

From Book 4: Trotsky and Nusch

Author’s note: I really, really mourn Nusch Éluard, too. She was Marvelous. Writing this novel series about Artaud and Desnos has led me to love – and to mourn – so many other people: André Breton (though I’m conflicted about him), Benjamin Péret, Paul Éluard, Picasso, Cocteau, Jacques Prével, Paule Thévenin, Jean Paulhan who alsoContinue reading “From Book 4: Trotsky and Nusch”

From Book 3: Hit the Jesuit

            Louis patted his pockets, gave me a stupid grin, and went out the door again to bum a cigarette from Desnos. As I approached the corner table, Artaud looked up and his face showed visible relief. “Good! It’s you,” he said, sounding so glad I suppressed the urge to look behind me. “Do meContinue reading “From Book 3: Hit the Jesuit”

From Book 3: Our Hobourgeois Needs Help

            While staring into space at Louis’s table in the Dôme one day Artaud’s eyes happened to focus on Genica Athanasiou, who had been pushed toward us by the noonday crowd and was trying to inch past without his noticing. Louis looked up from the sketch he was doing, and I put down the bookContinue reading “From Book 3: Our Hobourgeois Needs Help”

From Book 4: Another Way

            It was at the Dôme, Artaud’s favorite haunt, that a ghost caught up with me. I was already in a particularly wretched mood that evening when my gaze suddenly lifted from the table to lock with a twin pair of eyes, with familiar but never-before-seen blue-green accusation from the face of Marie-Ange Mallausséna. IContinue reading “From Book 4: Another Way”