From Book 3: Desnos and Youki

            The weekend—two days of rain, two days of revelation—was over and now the sun was out, drying up the puddles in the streets, puddles that had caught the glitter and frivolous paper streamers of some Montparnasse street party. The sun turned the glistening streets to dry pavement and raised my fears. Artaud was likeContinue reading “From Book 3: Desnos and Youki”

From Book 3: Never!

After the attempted suicide of Valentine Hugo finally faded from the gossip columns, they filled with reports that Foujita had lost millions in a game of baccarat. Youki told Desnos it was not true, but nevertheless she and Foujita received a notice of back taxes owed. When Foujita sent his new secretary to the taxContinue reading “From Book 3: Never!”

From Book 3: Schubert and Syphilis

            It had grown quite dark, and the room was warm and close. He turned on the lamp, and there was a knock at the door. Artaud gave me an acid smile, then strode to the door in his bare feet and without my permission opened it. I half-expected him to make his escape then.Continue reading “From Book 3: Schubert and Syphilis”

From Book 2: Breton’s Speech

We were crossing a long, grassy mall toward a soot-darkened stone edifice, very square and squat, with dull beige tracery. A dilapidated iron balcony in a recessed alcove overlooked the long rows of steps to the entrance, where two huge oak doors were propped open. I swore when I saw Youki Foujita disengage herself fromContinue reading “From Book 2: Breton’s Speech”

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 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”

Book 3: Desnos Meets Aube

Author’s note: Many scenes and situations in this series are fictionalized to bring out certain facts and themes. There is no evidence that Robert Desnos ever met Andre Breton’s infant daughter Aube. It is October, 1936 and Artaud is still in Mexico. Jacqueline Lamba and her husband have quarreled and Jacqueline left for a time.Continue reading “Book 3: Desnos Meets Aube”

From Book 4: Resistance

This section presented in its entirety. Let us never forget those who fought so others could be free.             In the protection of a dry creek bed we gobbled our tepid rations and leaned against the embankment in shifts to nap. “How’s your ankle, soldier?” Raymond asked me for the hundredth time as he lappedContinue reading “From Book 4: Resistance”

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 2: Josette and Youki

            Artaud’s own hair, neatly slicked back earlier, had slid loose because of the heat and now hung around his face. It looked strange, for his hair still had a few centimeters to grow until it attained the length it had been a year ago; it fell only to his cheekbones, a chestnut bowl ofContinue reading “From Book 2: Josette and Youki”