November 4, 1932
Marcel DuChamp (Mark)
Marcel Moore (Kathy)
Charlie Watts (Brett)
Our dreamers attempted to reunite in the Dreamlands, went home, and had a fitful night of sleep. Apparently unable to dream in any way.
They return to Le Cyrano and compare notes. Dali has insisted that he’s going to stay in bed all day. Claude also is not at the bar. They begin to compare notes and slowly come to realize that they did indeed dream, but that the details are slow to reveal themselves.
Charlie had been dreaming of walking through the streets of Paris when he suddenly found himself on the shore of the ocean, on a rocky promontory, the smell of rotting fish, and the sea in the air. He looks over and sees Duchamp who is staring at the rugose plain behind them, dotted with leafless trees and abandoned farmhouses.
Marcel in her dream is walking along and sees Charlie and Duchamp standing in a field. She looks up into the sky, a greyish overcast sky that is pulsing, throbbing, with a greenish color. This memory had eluded her until she had sat down at the table with Gala, Duchamp, and Charlie. She realizes that Gala was in the dream as well, but that Dali was not there.
The remembering continues- a figure lurks in the doorway of one of the farmhouses, they are somehow drawn to this person, even from a distance, they can smell his stench and know he is ridden with lice. The figure is familiar, but they cannot place the memory.
It begins to set in that they were in the Dreamlands, but only now are remembering it. It is as if it is a shared memory.
The figure begins walking towards them but there is something or someone behind him. It is a yellowish figure…almost a stain of yellow in reality. In the sky, there are crows, hundreds of them. As they look closer though, they see that they are not crows, but actually are squids flying in the air. The color of the sky changes to a vaginal darkness. The yellowish stain continues to follow the enigmatic figure approaching you.
Charlie attempts to dreamscape a banana tree in the figures way and does. He then tries to get a large clump of bananas to fall on the yellowish figure but fails.
As they discuss what occurred in the dream, they realize that they know who this figure is.
It is Maldoror, murderous Maldoror! Part romantic hero, part monster, who had undertook a battle with God in the book Songs of Maldoror written by Lucien Ducasse under the pseudonym of Comte de Lautreamont.
This figure may be the key to why they cannot dream, or why they cannot actively remember their dreams.
Luckily, for them, this book was one of Breton’s favorite pieces of literature. This Homeric epic, written in the late 1860’s, seemed to personify the struggle of art and man against society to Breton. He even has a copy. Another man, who supposedly knew Ducasse, one Leopold Didot, owned the copy he has.
They decide to find Didot and question him about the book.
Didot lives in a squalid flat on the rue Doudeauville in Montmartre. He is old (born in 1837) and seems to survive off bread, milk and spite. He initially refuses to talk to the dreamers until they flatter him enough to gain entrance. As they enter his apartment, dozens of black cats scatter and leave hissing out the open window. They discuss the book and Didot goes on and on about the sorry state of art and poetry. They gather the following information from him:
- He knew all of the artists and writers of that time- Mallarme, Baudelaire and even Victor Hugo
- Ducasse was a pipsqueak and a madman and if there was, any justice in the world it is that the filth he wrote was consigned to the literary scrap heap
- The man was insane. And if you need proof of that Ducasse said that his sickening descriptions were of another world that was like a dream, but real
- Ducasse also claimed that men could reshape that realm to their will. That painters like Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon (part of the symbolist movement of art) could do this.
- Was Maldoror real? Absurd! On his deathbed, Ducasse said he would go to meet him in Thalarion where together they would unite and fight Lathi.
- Some other artists were mixed up in the dream nonsense. Baudelaire learned to go there while translating Poe. Mallarme went mad there and spent his last years writing a poem consisting of text that lined to other bits of text, about the rolling of dice.
- He hints at something called ‘The Yellow League’ and that maybe Ducasse was poisoned.
Abruptly he halts the conversation and ushers the players out. They do a little research on the Yellow League and only find that it was a political movement during the second French Empire)
Other things you know:
Thalarion: a city in the Dreamlands also known as the City of a Thousand Wonders. The spires of this city reach so high into the sky that their tops cannot be seen from the ground and the outer walls extend far past the horizon. The carven gate Akariel stands athwart its pier. No one who goes through it ever comes out: only madmen and monsters survive here.
Lathi: the phantom ruler of Thalarion. Some call Lathi a false god.