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: Desnos, the Select, and Theatre Alfred Jarry

Author’s note: I have long been frustrated with misinterpretations of Artaud merely as “mad,” a cold person, and a failure. Like Martin Esslin correcting the Beats’ version of Artaud, Kimberly Jannarone unearths the powerful admiration Artaud’s friends and colleagues had for him and I am grateful to her for restoring the Theatre Alfred Jarry toContinue reading “From Book 2: Desnos, the Select, and Theatre Alfred Jarry”

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 1: The Surrealist Research Bureau

            In a small storefront on the rue de Grenelle where the Surrealist Research Bureau made its headquarters, we sat on hard chairs with about a dozen young men in a cramped room, and were subjected to a long and tedious lecture by the founder of the movement, André Breton. He seemed a pleasant enoughContinue reading “From Book 1: The Surrealist Research Bureau”

Excerpt from Book 1: New in Paris

            Because I had heard about it and read about it so much I rode a trolley to Montmartre and wandered for a bit along the narrow, cobblestoned streets. Of course this area was popular on a sunny day and it was crowded, so I decided not to explore the sprawling gardens below the whiteContinue reading “Excerpt from Book 1: New in Paris”