"You mean...what has Cordelia to do with it?" Levin asked
timidly, forgetting that the fantasia was supposed to represent
"Cordelia comes in...see here!" said Pestsov, tapping his finger
on the satiny surface of the program he held in his hand and
passing it to Levin.
Only then Levin recollected the title of the fantasia, and made
haste to read in the Russian translation the lines from
Shakespeare that were printed on the back of the program.
"You can't follow it without that," said Pestsov, addressing
Levin, as the person he had been speaking to had gone away, and
he had no one to talk to.
In the entr'acte Levin and Pestsov fell into an argument upon
the merits and defects of music of the Wagner school. Levin
maintained that the mistake of Wagner and all his followers lay
in their trying to take music into the sphere of another art,
just as poetry goes wrong when it tries to paint a face as the
art of painting ought to do, and as an instance of this mistake
he cited the sculptor who carved in marble certain poetic
phantasms flitting round the figure of the poet on the pedestal.
"These phantoms were so far from being phantoms that they were
positively clinging on the ladder," said Levin. The comparison
pleased him, but he could not remember whether he had not used
the same phrase before, and to Pestsov, too, and as he said it he
Pestsov maintained that art is one, and that it can attain its
highest manifestations only by conjunction with all kinds of art.
The second piece that was performed Levin could not hear.
Pestsov, who was standing beside him, was talking to him almost
all the time, condemning the music for its excessive affected
assumption of simplicity, and comparing it with the simplicity of
the Pre-Raphaelites in painting. As he went out Levin met many
more acquaintances, with whom he talked of politics, of music,
and of common acquaintances. Among others he met Count Bol, whom
he had utterly forgotten to call upon.