Frédéric Chopin and his suffering | Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening
Frédéric Chopin and George Sand: A Collaborative Union. Frederic Chopin. His pulmonary problems were beginning to badly trouble him. He had been jilted Chopin and Sand eventually formed a romantic relationship. In spite of a disabling disease, Chopin was musically creative right to the end of his life. and although it is thought that he had sexual relations with several George Sand had to pay for his furniture to be burnt when they left. Discreet nearly to a fault, shy of public performance, delicate and sickly, Frédéric Chopin was perhaps Most contemporaries saw their love affair as the latest of Sand's and in ''Chopin's Funeral,'' Benita Eisler challenges the certainties of . George Sand complained that Chopin was petulant, childish.
Caustic and incisive, he could also do uproariously funny imitations. When his failing health permitted, and when he was in a good mood, he would willingly improvise on the piano or accompany the singer Pauline Viardot. Perched on a donkey, he would also join a picnic excursion to the banks of the Indre River in the Creuse. But when displeased with someone or something he became surly and went off by himself. He was obsessed by perfection. The breakup with Sand weakened his health and broke the thread of his creation.
In taking the part of the daughter against the mother did he betray George? The year-old Solange was ungovernable. The newlyweds were chased out. It was a huge scandal. May you soon be cured of all your ills, as I hope that now you may be…. If you are, I will offer thanks to God for this fantastic ending of a friendship which has, for nine years, absorbed both of us.
Send me your news from time to time. Sand continued to write, shared her life with the engraver Alexandre Manceau for 15 years until his death inand spent her last years with her grandchildren at Nohant.
- Frédéric Chopin and his suffering
- George Sand
Moreover, her grandmother, who had no intention that Aurore should become a nun, hastened to Paris and carried her back to Nohant. The girl was now sixteen, and her complicated nature began to make itself apparent. There was no one to control her, because her grandmother was confined to her own room. And so Aurore Dupin, now in superb health, rushed into every sort of diversion with all the zest of youth. She read voraciously—religion, poetry, philosophy. She was an excellent musician, playing the piano and the harp.
Once, in a spirit of unconscious egotism, she wrote to her confessor: Do you think that my philosophical studies are compatible with Christian humility? The shrewd ecclesiastic answered, with a touch of wholesome irony: I doubt, my daughter, whether your philosophical studies are profound enough to warrant intellectual pride. This stung the girl, and led her to think a little less of her own abilities; but perhaps it made her books distasteful to her.
For a while she seems to have almost forgotten her sex. She began to dress as a boy, and took to smoking large quantities of tobacco. Her natural brother, who was an officer in the army, came down to Nohant and taught her to ride—to ride like a boy, seated astride. She went about without any chaperon, and flirted with the young men of the neighborhood.
The prim manners of the place made her subject to a certain amount of scandal, and the village priest chided her in language that was far from tactful. In return she refused any longer to attend his church. Thus she was living when her grandmother died, inleaving to Aurore her entire fortune of five hundred thousand francs. If she turned toward her uncle, she would be forever classed among the aristocracy.
If she chose her mother, who, though married, was essentially a grisette, then she must live with grisettes, and find her friends among the friends who visited her mother. She could not belong to both worlds. One must respect the girl for making the choice she did.
Understanding the situation absolutely, she chose her mother; and perhaps one would not have had her do otherwise. Yet in the long run it was bound to be a mistake.
Famous Affinities of History - The Story of George Sand (by Lyndon Orr)
Aurore was clever, refined, well read, and had had the training of a fashionable convent school. The mother was ignorant and coarse, as was inevitable, with one who before her marriage had been half shop-girl and half courtesan. The two could not live long together, and hence it was not unnatural that Aurore Dupin should marry, to enter upon a new career. Her fortune was a fairly large one for the times, and yet not large enough to attract men who were quite her equals.
Presently, however, it brought to her a sort of country squire, named Casimir Dudevant. He was the illegitimate son of the Baron Dudevant. He had been in the army, and had studied law; but he possessed no intellectual tastes. He was outwardly eligible; but he was of a coarse type—a man who, with passing years, would be likely to take to drink and vicious amusements, and in serious life cared only for his cattle, his horses, and his hunting.
He had, however, a sort of jollity about him which appealed to this girl of eighteen; and so a marriage was arranged. Aurore Dupin became his wife inand he secured the control of her fortune. The first few years after her marriage were not unhappy.
She had a son, Maurice Dudevant, and a daughter, Solange, and she loved them both. But it was impossible that she should continue vegetating mentally upon a farm with a husband who was a fool, a drunkard, and a miser. He deteriorated; his wife grew more and more clever. It made him uncomfortable. Other persons spoke of her talk as brilliant. He bluntly told her that it was silly, and that she must stop it.
When she did not stop it, he boxed her ears. This caused a breach between the pair which was never healed. Dudevant, on her side, would have nothing more to do with this rustic rake. She formed what she called a platonic friendship—and it was really so—with a certain M. With him this clever woman could talk without being called silly, and he took sincere pleasure in her company. He might, in fact, have gone much further, had not both of them been in an impossible situation. Aurore Dudevant really believed that she was swayed by a pure and mystic passion.
De Seze, on the other hand, believed this mystic passion to be genuine love. Coming to visit her at Nohant, he was revolted by the clownish husband with whom she lived. It gave him an esthetic shock to see that she had borne children to this boor. Therefore he shrank back from her, and in time their relation faded into nothingness.
I had not the patience to wait till widowhood. No one can be sure of surviving anybody. I assumed that my husband had died, and I was very glad to learn what he thought of me while he was alive.
Since the package was addressed to me, it was not dishonorable for me to open it. And so she opened it. It proved to be his will, but containing, as a preamble, his curses on her, expressions of contempt, and all the vulgar outpouring of an evil temper and angry passion.
She went to her husband as he was opening a bottle, and flung the document upon the table. He cowered at her glance, at her firmness, and at her cold hatred. He grumbled and argued and entreated; but all that his wife would say in answer was: I am going to Paris, and my children are to remain here. In Paris she developed into a thorough-paced Bohemian. She tried to make a living in sundry hopeless ways, and at last she took to literature.
She was living in a garret, with little to eat, and sometimes without a fire in winter.
Nohant, Indre: Frédéric Chopin and George Sand
She had some friends who helped her as well as they could, but though she was attached to the Figaro, her earnings for the first month amounted to only fifteen francs. Nevertheless, she would not despair. The editors and publishers might turn the cold shoulder to her, but she would not give up her ambitions.
She went down into the Latin Quarter, and there shook off the proprieties of life. She assumed the garb of a man, and with her quick perception she came to know the left bank of the Seine just as she had known the country-side at Nohant or the little world at her convent school.
She never expected again to see any woman of her own rank in life. The proprieties are the guiding principle of people without soul and virtue. The good opinion of the world is a prostitute who gives herself to the highest bidder. One of her companions in this sort of hand-to-mouth journalism was a young student and writer named Jules Sandeau, a man seven years younger than his comrade. He was at that time as indigent as she, and their hardships, shared in common, brought them very close together.
He was clever, boyish, and sensitive, and it was not long before he had fallen at her feet and kissed her knees, begging that she would requite the love he felt for her. According to herself, she resisted him for six months, and then at last she yielded. The two made their home together, and for a while were wonderfully happy. Their work and their diversions they enjoyed in common, and now for the first time she experienced emotions which in all probability she had never known before.
Probably not very much importance is to be given to the earlier flirtations of George Sand, though she herself never tried to stop the mouth of scandal. Even before she left her husband, she was credited with having four lovers; but all she said, when the report was brought to her, was this: But if she only played at love-making then, she now gave herself up to it with entire abandonment, intoxicated, fascinated, satisfied.
How I wish I could impart to you this sense of the intensity and joyousness of life that I have in my veins. How sweet it is, and how good, in spite of annoyances, husbands, debts, relations, scandal-mongers, sufferings, and irritations! To love, and to be loved! In collaboration with Jules Sandeau, she wrote a novel called Rose et Blanche. The two lovers were uncertain what name to place upon the title-page, but finally they hit upon the pseudonym of Jules Sand.
The book succeeded; but thereafter each of them wrote separately, Jules Sandeau using his own name, and Mme. Dudevant styling herself George Sand, a name by which she was to be illustrious ever after. As a novelist, she had found her real vocation. She was not yet well known, but she was on the verge of fame. As soon as she had written Indiana and Valentine, George Sand had secured a place in the world of letters.
The magazine which still exists as the Revue des Deux Mondes gave her a retaining fee of four thousand francs a year, and many other publications begged her to write serial stories for them. The vein which ran through all her stories was new and piquant. As was said of her: In George Sand, whenever a lady wishes to change her lover, God is always there to make the transfer easy.
In other words, she preached free love in the name of religion. This was not a new doctrine with her.Liszt and Chopin (Chopin un amor imposible) scenes
After the first break with her husband, she had made up her mind about certain matters, and wrote: One is no more justified in claiming the ownership of a soul than in claiming the ownership of a slave. According to her, the ties between a man and a woman are sacred only when they are sanctified by love; and she distinguished between love and passion in this epigram: Love seeks to give, while passion seeks to take.
At this time, George Sand was in her twenty-seventh year. She was not beautiful, though there was something about her which attracted observation.
Of middle height, she was fairly slender. Her eyes were somewhat projecting, and her mouth was almost sullen when in repose. Her manners were peculiar, combining boldness with timidity. When she was deeply stirred, however, she burst forth into an extraordinary vivacity, showing a nature richly endowed and eager to yield its treasures. The existence which she now led was a curious one. She still visited her husband at Nohant, so that she might see her son, and sometimes, when M.
Dudevant came to town, he called upon her in the apartments which she shared with Jules Sandeau. He had accepted the situation, and with his crudeness and lack of feeling he seemed to think it, if not natural, at least diverting.
Meanwhile, there began to be perceptible the very slightest rift within the lute of her romance. Was her love for Sandeau really love, or was it only passion? In his absence, at any rate, the old obsession still continued. Here we see, first of all, intense pleasure shading off into a sort of maternal fondness. She sends Sandeau adoring letters.
She is afraid that his delicate appetite is not properly satisfied. Yet, again, there are times when she feels that he is irritating and ill. Those who knew them said that her nature was too passionate and her love was too exacting for him.
One of her letters seems to make this plain. It is an appalling thought, and Jules will not understand it. He laughs at it; and when, in the midst of his transports of delight, the idea comes to me and makes my blood run cold, he tells me that here is the death that he would like to die. At such moments he promises whatever I make him promise. It will be found all through her career, not only that she sought to inspire passion, but that she strove to gratify it after fashions of her own.
One little passage from a description of her written by the younger Dumas will perhaps make this phase of her character more intelligible, without going further than is strictly necessary: Sand has little hands without any bones, soft and plump.
She is by destiny a woman of excessive curiosity, always disappointed, always deceived in her incessant investigation, but she is not fundamentally ardent. In vain would she like to be so, but she does not find it possible. Her physical nature utterly refuses. The reader will find in all that has now been said the true explanation of George Sand. Abounding with life, but incapable of long stretches of ardent love, she became a woman who sought conquests everywhere without giving in return more than her temperament made it possible for her to do.
She loved Sandeau as much as she ever loved any man; and yet she left him with a sense that she had never become wholly his. Perhaps this is the reason why their romance came to an end abruptly, and not altogether fittingly. She had been spending a short time at Nohant, and came to Paris without announcement. She intended to surprise her lover, and she surely did so.
She found him in the apartment that had been theirs, with his arms about an attractive laundry-girl. Thus closed what was probably the only true romance in the life of George Sand. Afterward she had many lovers, but to no one did she so nearly become a true mate.
As it was, she ended her association with Sandeau, and each pursued a separate path to fame. Sandeau afterward became a well- known novelist and dramatist. He was, in fact, the first writer of fiction who was admitted to the French Academy. The woman to whom he had been unfaithful became greater still, because her fame was not only national, but cosmopolitan. For a time after her deception by Sandeau, she felt absolutely devoid of all emotions.
She shunned men, and sought the friendship of Marie Dorval, a clever actress who was destined afterward to break the heart of Alfred de Vigny. The two went down into the country; and there George Sand wrote hour after hour, sitting by her fireside, and showing herself a tender mother to her little daughter Solange.
This life lasted for a while, but it was not the sort of life that would now content her. She had many visitors from Paris, among them Sainte-Beuve, the critic, who brought with him Prosper Merimee, then unknown, but later famous as master of revels to the third Napoleon and as the author of Carmen. Merimee had a certain fascination of manner, and the predatory instincts of George Sand were again aroused.
One day, when she felt bored and desperate, Merimee paid his court to her, and she listened to him. This is one of the most remarkable of her intimacies, since it began, continued, and ended all in the space of a single week. When Merimee left Nohant, he was destined never again to see George Sand, except long afterward at a dinner-party, where the two stared at each other sharply, but did not speak.
This affair, however, made it plain that she could not long remain at Nohant, and that she pined for Paris.