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2003-10-21

Achille-Claude Debussy
B. 8.22.1862 Saint Germain-en-Laye, France / D. 3.25.1918 Paris
Cancer

Marcel Proust, in self-imposed isolation in his cork-lined room when he was writing his novel “Remembrance of Things Past,” bought a subscription to a telephone service called the Theatrophone; over the earphones he repeatedly listened to “Pelléas” transmitted from the stage of the Opera-Comique. “A charming revelation that even tyrannizes me a little,” he wrote. (The Boston Globe, 10.17.03)

At the Opera-Comique
Ding-a-ling-a-ling
Marcel Proust calling!
Monsieur
Pelléas—encore
connect me.
Voilà—Atlantis-like,
intervening Paris sinks into a cobweb pond
and there’s the slightest crackling sound
as of countless light bulbs being extinguished at enormous depths
or of young twigs snapping. . .

the sea—the timpani
the shadows and the blade
the sun is done
love’s arms are still
the sea is crying and the forest stands amazed
so sad are they who see the sadness—we. . .

At the pond-lip, in the dark
enormous, solemn, and alone
the white ear drinks.

Consolation Site: Bonne nuit tristesse

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