Paris yesterday, upon Calvo's invitation to see "Boris Godounoff" at the opera. Very Fine. Especially chorus and general completeness of production. Impression left of the barbaric quality of Russia; and its intense earnestness in art also. As to the composition, assuredly great. No close construction in it, its construction must certainly have been a matter of haphazard - I don't care what anyone says to the contrary; made one feel the unimportance of great skill in construction. Look at the haphazard way in which all Goethe's things were constructed. Uncanny effect of seeing suddenly a masterpiece of which one had scarcely heard and of which one knew nothing, and yet which was written in 1874 or published then.
I went 'behind' afterwards with Calvo. After all the romance of the organisation of these affairs interests me quite as much as the art work. Vast stage. Not well agence. I went to see the foyer de la dance; got it lighted up specially for me. Most disappointing. Quite small with the end wall one vast mirror. Piffling, compared to its traditions. I should say not more than 30 feet long. Sloping floor: curious the effect of the rail put in front of the seats, against the walls. Of course it is for the danseuses to hold onto while they practise their postures. But it seems as if it was to keep the abonne admirers from touching the girls. Similar effect to that of the grilles behind which sit Arabs whores' in Algeria. Eminently suitable to the character of the room.
Chaliapine was great and profound. Calvo introduced us afterwards, on the stage. I hate these introductions, but I was glad to go through the tedium of this one. A very tall man with a noble bearing and a fine face. He is undoubtedly a sublime artist.
I was out at 8 a.m. today. certainly what interests me is organisation. Outside the Magasins du Louvre, the despatch of thousands of parcels in dozens of vans was in full swing. A great effect. When I returned, in less than an hour, everything had gone. At 8.25 the interior of the shop was in going order, and well sprinkled with customers. The employees had a strange un-tired air.
I had the good luck to get a first ed. of Becque's "Les Corbeaux" at Stock's for 4 frs. Tresse was the original publisher. They said it was their last copy. It ought to be fairly rare. I also bought what I had been wanting for some weeks, Forel's "La Questionne Sexuelle". Also an album of Modes, 1830-1870, extremement interessant, and most useful at this exact moment for "Old Wives' Tale".