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”

From Book 3: Allons-y!

         In the spring of 1932, Breton was exerting more control over an ever-younger coterie, guiding the group’s activities and dominating the discussions. Yet, this did not appear to be entirely his choice. At the Prophete, Justine and I overheard him snarl in a corner to Tristan Tzara (“that Hungarian homunculus shaped like an anarchist’s bomb,”Continue reading “From Book 3: Allons-y!”

From Book 3: Why Is He Like This?

            The explosion of health in Artaud over the near-year subsided as toward autumn he again began to experience the headaches and the spinal pain, and most alarming to me the facial cramps which also affected his tongue, a droning in his ears that made him deaf to me, and an extreme intolerance to stimuliContinue reading “From Book 3: Why Is He Like This?”