If I am not at your house, it is the fault of the big Tourgueneff. I was getting ready to go to Nohant, when he said to me: “Wait, I’ll go with you the first of April.” That is two weeks off. I shall see him tomorrow at Madame Viardot’s and I shall beg him to go earlier, as I am beginning to be impatient. I am feeling the NEED of seeing you, of embracing you, and of talking with you. That is the truth.
I am beginning to regain my equilibrium again. What is it that I have had for the past four months? What trouble was going on in the depths of my being? I don’t know. What is certain, is, that I was very ill in an indefinable way. But now I am better. Since the end of January, Madame Bovary and Salammbo have belonged to me and I can sell them. I am doing nothing about it, preferring to do without the money other than to exasperate my nerves. Such is your old troubadour.
I am reading all sorts of books and I am taking notes for my big book which will take five or six years to write, and I am thinking of two or three others. There will be dreams for a long time, which is the principal thing.
Art continues to be “in the marasmus,” as M. Prudhomme says, and there is no longer any place in this world for people with taste. One must, like the rhinoceros, retire into solitude and await one’s death.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:50