Memoirs of an Amnesic: The Musician’s Day, 1913
An artist must regulate his life.
Here is a time-table of my daily acts.
I rise at 7.18; am inspired from 10.23 to 11.47.
I lunch at 12.11 and leave the table at 12.14.
A healthy ride on horse-back round my domain follows from 1.19 pm to 2.53 pm.
Another bout of inspiration from 3.12 to 4.7 pm.
From 5 to 6.47 pm various occupations (fencing, reflection, immobility, visits, contemplation, dexterity, natation, etc.)
Dinner is served at 7.16 and finished at 7.20 pm.
From 8.9 to 9.59 pm symphonic readings (out loud).
I go to bed regularly at 10.37 pm.
Once a week (on Tuesdays) I awake with a start at 3.14 am.
My only nourishment consists of food that is white: eggs, sugar, shredded bones, the fat of dead animals, veal, salt, coco-nuts, chicken cooked in white water, mouldy fruit, rice, turnips, sausages in camphor, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and certain kinds of fish (without their skin).
I boil my wine and drink it cold mixed with the juice of the Fuschia.
I have a good appetite but never talk when eating for fear of strangling myself.
I breathe carefully (a little at a time) and dance very rarely.
When walking I hold my ribs and look steadily behind me.
My expression is very serious; when I laugh it is unintentional, and I always apologise very politely.I sleep with only one eye closed, very profoundly. My bed is round with a hole in it for my head to go through. Every hour a servant takes my temperature and gives me another.
For a long time I have subscribed to a fashion magazine. I wear a white cap, white socks, and a white vest.
My doctor has always told me to smoke. To this advice he adds, “Smoke, my friend: if it weren’t for that, another would be smoking in your place.”
Translated from the French by Robert Motherwell.
First published in S.I.M. (Journal of the Société Musicale Indépendent),
Paris, 15 April 1912, and 15 February 1913.