Les Maîtres sonneurs (The Master Pipers)

   I find rather beautiful and rather sad this "musical purpose" which "tormented" Huriel and Tiennet1. Since then I rediscovered the word "purpose" in George Sand's letters to Flaubert, in the preface to Champi, and she really frustrated me, by her careless artistry. In the same way as in  the little personal phrase that Swann liked so much, a musician discovers an affiliation in Mozart's Sonatas and a phrase from Tristan in the second act in Beethoven. But then I came upon an accent that was like an accent of those characters and I found the things that they said about music beautiful, as they were on the point of leaving, ready for their travels, on the edge of the woods. I found them beautiful, at an age when I had no need of affected words to evoke nature for us, and the music of a grey sky, and the music of  a clear sky, was sufficient to evoke for me the wide skies over the fields where one could hear the sounds of a flute. And I found them pitiable as over again they were told: "Do this because it is your purpose, it is your vocation". Because the duty of parents seemed to me to be to thwart vocations, and the day on which my father said to me: "Do this because it is your vocation and it will be your life" it seemed to me that he was abdicating his role of parent, that he was saying: "You are the master", that he was dying, and on the other hand that the future, my reason for living, the still distant future, still intact and unknown, had just taken me by the hand as if it were something already begun, reduced in value, as if in advance, which would be the thing that I wished for, and which my meagre strength and my mediocre talents  determined, and no more! that it was not something splendid, exterior to me into which I would one day enter, but something that was real and decided by me, which would be nothing more than the continuation of what had already been for some months and which was not so very attractive!

Cahier 29, 98r - 20r, NAF 16669.

1. Characters in Les Maîtres sonneurs, George Sand, 1853. Huriel, a Borbonnais mule driver, who taught Joseph, an orphaned child. Tiennet (diminutive of Ètienne) Depardieu, narrator and piper from Berrichon, friend of Joseph.


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Created 23.05.23