From Book 3: A Night on the rue Mazarine

            Artaud was galvanized after his return to Paris. He wrote to and met with Breton frequently, but something about him was different. Now he had Cécile Schramme, who had waited for him. Everyone noticed the remarkable effect that this young Belgian girl seemed to have on the thirty-nine year-old man. He became energetic, humorousContinue reading “From Book 3: A Night on the rue Mazarine”

From Book 1: A Night on the rue Blomet

            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: A Night on the rue Blomet”

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 3: The Cenci

            In May, Louis, Anita, Justine and I attended the premiere of The Cenci with Desnos and Youki. It was a gala performance with many society members in attendance, including the Prince of Greece. The nobility stumbled about in the cramped foyer alongside the intellectuals who jabbered with their berets pressed close together. The venue,Continue reading “From Book 3: The Cenci”

From Book 2: Kiki, Foujita, and Duchamp

            Kiki of Montparnasse was a voluptuous, ribald woman with a mop of curly brown hair. Born into poverty in the provinces, she had traveled to Paris for work and and was adopted by the artists who gave Montparnasse its special life. Kiki sang in nightclubs and painted and modeled for Man Ray’s bizarre photographs.Continue reading “From Book 2: Kiki, Foujita, and Duchamp”

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”

From Book 1: Language

Suddenly his lids closed and his head fell peacefully against the chair and remained there. His breathing stretched, settling into a steady rhythm. I waited but he didn’t speak again. Like a sage he sat there, hands folded, lips pushed aside a bit from the pressure of the cushion on his cheek, his legs stillContinue reading “From Book 1: Language”

From Book 3: Gaston Ferdière

As soon as he was settled, Desnos invited Justine and me to his new, shabby flat near the Boulevard Montparnasse for a dinner party with Artaud and Louis and a new acquaintance, a medical student named Gaston Ferdière. After only a few minutes of speaking with this Ferdière, I decided that he was the mostContinue reading “From Book 3: Gaston Ferdière”