Autograph Letter Signed, two full pages, octavo, June 7, 1916. Written during his World War I service to his Marraine [de guerre], Mme Fernand Dreyfus, mother of the composer Roland-Manuel. Fine condition.
Your label didn’t surprise me; since arriving here I have been having a misperception that packages and perhaps letters are being missent. I pointed out the error which could come from this ambiguous S.P. The last two packages (sent from Lyon) already had the instructions not for postal sector no. 4, but that was no reason for their not arriving at all. Only the respect I owe the cause prevents me from calling an idiot whoever it was who didn’t comprehend that this should pass through the B.C.M. I have not received either the Plouvier or the sausage. All that should arrive today; I will not wait until opening them to put this letter in the mailbox. Your good letter was accompanied by four others, all of which implore me to accept returning to the rear for various reason, the nicest of which – my four-striped colleague is the one who says it – is that ‘it is useless to make trenches with precious stones.’ However, what solid trenches one could have built with all the precious stones, thinking they had to get back to their veins!
The Parthian arrow was shot at me by another colleague, Maurice Delage; it hit me right in the heart. He praised his services to me after suggesting his doing so, and tells me he has a piano. After what I told you in my last letter, you can imagine the magical effect these words produced. I have – by God – resisted other temptations; to this one the musician responded ‘one does as one wishes’ and the warrior (!) hopes that this won’t succeed. The cacodylate [an arsenic derivative, often used as a weed killer] continues to have beneficial effects. I spend a part of my leisure lifting the morale of my poor comrades whom the news from the different fronts no longer satisfies. In the evening until about 9:30 we hold barracks debates – on love in the theosophical sense – on the convenience of the notion of the infinite, the mode of employing the force of the disintegration of atoms, and on the 4th dimension. You see, we never get finished. My regards to M. Dreyfus, to Roland and my respectful regards to your daughter. In a postscript Maurice Ravel adds, I think I told you already that the SP 4 was replaced by S.P. 15 but that the delivery men are basically passing up the latter.
Framed with a portrait of Maurice Ravel at the piano, in turquoise and silver gilt. The frame measures 17 by 20 inches.
This item is associated with the following category in our inventory:
- Musicians / Composers