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The Ghost Sonata

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Introduction

The Ghost Sonata The ground floor and first floor of a fashionable house. only a corner of it visible. The ground floor ends in a circular drawing-room, the first floor in a balcony with a flagstaff. As the blinds are raised in the drawing-room they reveal through the open windows a white marble statue of a wound woman, surrounded by palms which are bathed in bright sunlight. In the window to the left stands vases of hyacinths, blue, white, and pink. Over the railing of the balcony, at the corner of the first floor, hangs a blue silk eirderdown, with two white pillows. The windows to the left are draped with white sheets. It is a clear Sunday morning. Downstage, in front of the house, is a green bench. Downstage right, a public fountain. To the left is a pillar, with posters pasted round it. Upstage left is the front entrance to the house. Through it we can see the staircase, which is of white marble, with banisters of mahogany and brass. on the pavement outside, laurels in the tubs stand on either side of the door. The corner of the house which contains the round drawing-room also looks on to a side street which leads upstage. To the left of the entrance, on the ground floor, is window with a mirror outside it set at an angle. As the curtain rises, the bells of several churches can be heard pealing in the distance. The doors of the house are open. a woman dresses in dark clothes is standing motionless on the staircase. The caretaker's with is cleaning the front step; then she polishes the brass o n the front door, and waters the laurels. In a wheel chair by the pillar, the old man sits reading the paper. He has white hair, a white beard, and spectacles. The milkmaid enters from the left, carrying bottles in a wire basket. ...read more.

Middle

Go along and do you telephoning. (he reads his news paper. The Woman dressed in dark clothes has come out on to the pavement and is talking to the Caretaker's Wife. The Old Man listens, but the audience cannot hear what they say.) OLD MAN: Have you done it? STUDENT: Yes. OLD MAN: You see that house? STUDENT: Yes. I've noticed it before. I was waking past it yesterday, as sun was shinning in its windows. I thought of all the beauty and luxury there must be inside, and said to my companion: "If only one had and apartment there, four floors up, with a beautiful young wife, two pretty children and a private income of 20,000 crowns a year." OLD MAN: You said that, did you, did you indeed? Well, now; I love this house too- STUDENT: You speculate in houses? OLD MAN: Mm- yes. But not the way you mean- STUDENT: You know the people who live there? OLD MAN: Every one of them. When you live to be as old as I am, you know everyone, who their fathers were and there forefathers, and you find you're related to all of them in some way or another. I'm eighty; but no-one knows me; not really- I'm interested in people's destinies- (the blind in the round drawing room is raised. The Colonel is seen within, dressed in mufti. After looking at the thermometer, he turns back into the room and stops in front of the marble statue.) OLD MAN: Look, there's the Colonel. You'll be sitting next to him this afternoon- STUDENT: Is that- the Colonel? I don't understand what any of this means- it's like a fairy tale- OLD MAN: My whole life is a book of fairy tales, my dear sir; and although each tale is different, a single thread links them, there is a leitmotif that recurs continually- STUDENT: Whom does the marble statue represent? ...read more.

Conclusion

OLD MAN: First, go and listen to The Valkyrie. STUDENT: I've agreed to that. What else? OLD MAN: Tonight you shall sit in there, in the wound drawing room. STUDENT: How shall I get in there? OLD MAN: Through The Valkyrie. STUDENT: Why have you chosen me as your medium? Did you know me before? OLD MAN: Yes, of course. I've had my eye on you for a long time. Bit look up there, now on the balcony! The maid's hoisting the flag to half mast for the consul. Now she's turning the bedclothes. You see the blue eiderdown? That was made for two to sleep under. Now it serves for one. (the daughter, who has changed her clothes, enters and water the hyacinths in the window.) OLD MAN: That's my little girl look at her, look! She's talking to the flowers isn't she like a blue hyacinth herself? She's giving them drink, just plain water, but they turn it into color and perfume. Here come s the Colonel with his newspaper. he's showing her the paragraph about the accident. Now he's pointing at your photograph! She's interested; she's reading of your bravery. It's clouding over, what if it should rain? I'll be in a fine pickle stuck here if Johansson doesn't get back soon. (It clouds over and becomes dark. The old lady at the mirror shuts her window.) OLD MAN: Now my fiancee's shutting her window... seventy nine... that mirror's the only one she uses, because she can't see herself in it, only the outside world. and that from two angles but the world can see her, she hasn't thought of that. She's a beautiful old lady though... (the dead man in his winding sheet emerges from the door) STUDENT: God almighty, what do I see now? OLD MAN: What do you see? STUDENT: Can't you see? There in the doorway! The dead man? OLD MAN: I see nothing. But I was expecting this. Tell me. STUDENT: pg 440 OLD MAN: STUDENT: OLD MAN: STUDENT: OLD MAN: STUDENT: OLD MAN: STUDENT: OLD MAN: STUDENT: OLD MAN: ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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