Full text: The little review (12 (1926), 1)

amongst others, since caring nothing about the guests, a night of 
intoxication, that is to say of courage, she hurled herself into 
the water of the Rhine. 
Sprite whose side-saddle plumes ruled the age of slit skirts, 
I deny the presence of this other one to dedicate my solitude to 
you, on this bridge edging the Bois de Boulogne, at dawn of a 
June day. 
I loved you so, you and the lady with the bare neck. 
I love you still, but I must admit that I loved the lady with 
the bare neck better. 
During my childhood, women displayed their breast only 
when going to a ball. In the first half of the year 1914, a lady 
citizen of Geneva prophesied that the cataclysms, that were to 
deafen my adolescence, would come because of the opening of 
the blouses on the Cote d’Azur. As she always wore a tight 
chemisette of black silk, her country stayed in margin of all 
As to the lady with the bare neck, she had anticipated by 
several years the fashionable ones of 1914. She too had a bad 
reputation. She was the most famous woman in the world, she 
was accused of having murdered her husband and her mother. 
We secretly bought the newspapers on her account. 
To tell the truth, in the eyes of my comrades, the most 
fascinating thing in this affair was the name of the valet, an 
astounding name sounding like an obscene word said in public. 
But no, I cared little about the valet. I liked the lady with the 
bare neck and I liked her because she was the lady with the bare 
neck. I was fully content with this passion. I deemed it abso 
lute and justified by the one reason which I gave to myself, 
ignorant as I was of the law of relativity: this glory of science, 
joy of social meetings, torment of hearts. 
The lady with the bare neck is the lady with the bare neck 
on the wall-paper in the room of my childhood. I would write 
this sentence with letters legible only to me. Thus I did away 
with ennui. 
I was eight and was the only one to take her defense without 
exhibitionism, without the hope of a little reward when the 
prison gates should open. I was seeing her still as the magazines 
revealed her: 
She was on the bench of the accused a very fragile little thing 
in a bundle of crepe. They pictured her full-face, or her head 
turned left or right, pale, her veil stronger than the muscles of 
her neck. At other times the grief on her forehead, would carry 
to her hands the symbols of her double mourning. 
But whatever her movements were, their whole mystery had 
only one pivot.

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