Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I was born on the 11th of December 1803 at la Côte-Saint-André, a very small town in France in the department of Isère, between Vienne, Grenoble and Lyon. During the months preceding my birth, my mother, unlike Virgil’s, did not dream that she was about to give birth to a laurel branch. Painful as this admission may be for my self-esteem, I must add that she did not believe either, as did Olympias, Alexander’s mother, that she was bearing a firebrand in her womb. This is quite remarkable, I admit, but it is true. I came into this world in a perfectly ordinary manner, without any of the usual portents that were current in poetic times to proclaim the arrival of those predestined to glory. Could it be that our age is lacking in poetry?

Hector Berlioz, Memoirs


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