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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

in dark bronze bombazine. Her hair was done in
a bun on the top of her head, in the same manner as
the ladies in the drawings of Forain and Steinlen.
In the middle of the bed, between them, was a dip
in the counterpane, which, when it rains, becomes a
large puddle. Further on, on the same side of the
cemetery, in the corner is a small grave covered in
ivy, with China jain-jars, filled with daffodils. The
tombstone was sculptured by Brancusi. It repre-
sents two crouching figures glued together. A man
and a woman. The female is to be distinguished
only by her long hair and a slight indication of one
breast. The rest of her anatomy is shared by her
partner. This, I found out afterwards, was most
unsuitable, as the body in the grave—the inscription
was carved in Russian, so I could not read it—was
that of a young Russian girl of seventeen who was
infatuated with an elderly doctor who was mar-
ried and did not love her. She committed suicide
and died a virgin. I crossed the road, as a road
runs through the cemetery and found the tomb of
Baudelaire. He lies on his tomb in a winding
sheet. At the head, looming over him, is a sinister
figure, the model of which, I believe, was Monsieur
de Max. A Frenchman whom I knew had a whole
nest of ancestors buried somewhere in the cemetery,
and on the anniversary of any one of their deaths
arrived with some friends and bottles of wine and
they drank to the health of the Oncle Augustin or
the Tante Emilienne. I found also Ste. Beuye,
who sits in front of a stone bookcase, containing all
his books, and these are quite enough to fill the
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