Letter to a Romain Rolland

[shortly before 4 December 1913]


   infinite thanks for having taken the trouble to write to me. It was not so long ago that, already too ill to leave my bed, I abandoned myself to the théatrophone in my desire to understand what you admire and to verify your slightest assertions, so as to hear the passage from the Valkyrie in which you recognized the recitative "con expressione e simplice of the 17th sonata for piano". Thus you can see that a letter from you, even the sight of your handwriting, is something to which I could never be indifferent. I do not think that the things you tell me apply to the greater part of my book, even in the first volume. But I was obliged, at the start, to try to recreate, to imitate certain phenomena of memory, so as to give the work a spiritual support - and by consequence real in its style - and that can cause a misunderstanding. But I didn't even expect you would read the first few pages and I am extremely grateful to you. I beg you to accept, Monsieur, my very honoured good wishes.


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