Encore: Balthus

Das ist alles sehr geheimnisvoll, wissen Sie.

Balthus im Film „Balthus – glatte, reiche Schönheit“


La Chambre

My dear friend B[althus],

many years ago I knew an English writer in Cairo, a Mr. Blackwood, who in one of his novels advances a rather attractive hypothesis: he claims that at midnight there always appears a tiny slit between the day ending and the day beginning, and that a very agile person who managed to insert himself into that slit would escape from time and find himself in a realm independet of all the changes we must endure; in such a place are gathered all the things we have lost (Mitsou, for instance)… children’s broken dolls, etc. etc….

That’s the place, my dear B[althus], into which you must insert yourself on the night of February 28, in order to take possession of your birthday, which is hidden there, coming to light only every four years…

Balthus, "La Chambre" (1952-54)
Balthus, „La Chambre“ (1952-54)

Mr. Blackwood, if I am not mistaken, calls this secret and nocturnal slit the „Crac“: now I advise you, if you want to please your dear mother and Pierre, not to vanish into the Crac, but only to look around there when you are asleep… When you wake up on March 1, you’ll be filled with these admirable and mysterious memories, and instead of your own celebration, you will generously provide one for everyone else, by sharing your moving impressions…

Rainer Maria Rilke 1921 in einem Brief an Balthus

aus: „Balthus: A Biography“ von Nicholas Fox Weber