From Book 2: Dadesque Dating

“Do you remember when we took a month off and camped out along the Rhein?” I asked Franz suddenly. “That summer before the War. We walked from town to town, slept under the stars—”             “I remember.” Franz laughed suddenly. “And you built that raft and tried to float out to the Mäuseturm. You didn’tContinue reading “From Book 2: Dadesque Dating”

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: But We’re Not Gay

Desnos surprised me by asking if my father-in-law could find him a job. “I heard you and Artaud talking earlier. Writing is a hard life,” he confided sadly over the hum of conversation. “And I don’t get on with the other reporters.” That surprised me, but as he told me about his columns being severelyContinue reading “From Book 2: But We’re Not Gay”

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 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”