Franz West, untitled, 2009
"...'As things went, I had, on the whole, a pleasant time. Only, I understood that you sang; and I was rather hoping to hear you.' 'I do best with my regular accompanist,' I returned--meaning you, of course. I hope you don't mind being degraded to that level. 'And your regular accompanist is not-- not--?' 'Is miles away," I replied. 'A hundred and fifty of them,' I might have added, if I had chosen to be specific. Now, if he had wanted to hear me, why hadn't he asked? He would have needed only to second Mrs. Phillips herself; and there he was, just on the other side of me. In consequence of his reticence I was driven -or drove myself- to blank verse. And that other man, the one in the chair; he may have had his expectations too. Arthur, Arthur, try to grasp the situation! You must come down here, and you must bring your hands with you. Tell the bishop and the precentor that you are needed elsewhere. They will let you off. Of course I know that a village choir needs every tenor it can get--and keep; but come. If they insist, leave your voice behind; but do bring your hands and your reading eye. Don't let me go along making my new circle think I'm an utter dub. Tell your father plainly that he can never in the world make a wholesale-hardware-man out of you. Force him to listen to reason. What is one year spent in finding out just what you are fit for? Come along; I miss you like the devil; nobody does my things as sympathetically as you do. Give up your old anthems and your old tinware and tenpennies and come along. I can bolt from this hole at a week's notice, and we can go into quarters together: a real bed instead of an upholstered shelf, and a closet big enough for two wardrobes (if mine really deserves the name). We could get our own breakfast, and you could take a course in something or other till you found out just what the Big Town could do for you. In any event you would be bearing me company, and your company is what I need. So pack up and appear."
-Henry Blake Fuller, Bertram Cope's Year, 1919