From the Reading Journal #3 (napkin edition)

“Do you remember our voyage to Rio? Your cold on the boat? My fear of catching it? The rehearsals which gave you so much trouble with the English tenor who trembled with fear and gave himself confidence by beating time with his score? Our lunches and dinners at the Copacabana? The evening at the G’s (the garden with the huge palm trees. It’s now the Argentine embassy at Rio)? The variegated chorus-singers? The heat? The pineapples? The seafood at night? Your way at table of putting your napkin on your head, like a turban, when the orchestra was playing (and what an orchestra!)? The scent of the East in the air? Your way of saying to me ‘She has a bad character…’?”

– from a letter from Victoria Ocampo to Igor Stravinsky, quoted in volume 2 of Stephen Walsh’s biography of the composer, entitled Stravinsky: The Second Exile: France and America, 1934-1971. Read Thomas Merton’s correspondence with Victoria Ocampo in this volume.

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