Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament
Art and Culture Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
After a while he sat down before a blue Rico and lost himself. (1.11)
The "blue Rico" is probably a painting by Martin Rico y Ortega (1833-1908), a Spanish painter most famous for his paintings of Venice, Italy. This is a two-for-one: beautiful art and pictures of a great vacation spot.
He was always considerably excited while he dressed, twanging all over to the tuning of the strings and the preliminary flourishes of the horns in the music-room; but to-night he seemed quite beside himself, and he teased and plagued the boys until, telling him that he was crazy, they put him down on the floor and sat on him. (1.12)
This is…an oddly sexual response to music, particularly given that it ends with a bunch of boys actually sitting on him.
When the symphony began Paul sank into one of the rear seats with a long sigh of relief, and lost himself as he had done before the Rico. It was not that symphonies, as such, meant anything in particular to Paul, but the first sigh of the instruments seemed to free some hilarious and potent spirit within him (1.14)
So, today Paul could just sit in his room and crank up the iPhone. In 1905, though, hearing music live was pretty much your only option. There was some primitive recording technology, but it hardly fit in a cabinet, much less your pocket.