* DEBUSSY, Claude (1862-1918). Autograph letter signed ("Claude Debussy'), in French, to an unnamed recipient ("My dear friend" [likely Louis Laloy]). Paris, 31 January 1906.
2 pages, 8vo, on a bifolium, on personal stationery, small tear at upper left corner with minor marginal loss, a few pale stains; matted with a portrait photograph and framed. "Excuse me for not having answered immediately on the subject of your charming communication from your subscriber. This man is sinister, and why does he call me M[onsieur] Claude? As if we have to watch out for Monsieur Croche, the two of us? Otherwise all this is of no importance; Monsieur Croche has seen plenty of others and has never despaired of human stupidity…" As a music critic for La revue blanche Debussy created an imaginary visitor whom he calls "M. Croche" (croche is the French word for an eighth-note, although the word also suggests "crossed" or "hooked" in a variety of French idioms). M. Croche is an argumentative character whose ideas about music are filled with ambiguity. In his words we hear the arch side of Debussy's own personality. Debussy's friend and biographer Louis Laloy was an eminent musicologist, music critic, co-founder of Le Mercure musical, which had just announced it would be printing "Interview with Monsieur Croche."
Estimate $ 1,000-2,000
Property from the Robert L. McKay Collection, North Tustin, California