The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas
“My sisters told me that Edgar had a sketchbook with him constantly, on walks and as he sat in the shade of a tree in the back garden, or in our house. I wondered if the sketchbook was like a window for him into our family life, or if it was more like a levee, protecting him from the daily flooding of our emotions.
“It was one of those sketchbooks that went missing in our house before Edgar sailed to France that spring. On the rainy March day when he was about to catch the train, and then the boat to Havana, he was frantic, opening drawers, looking into each room of our house, rushing upstairs and even out to the garden shed. One of the few letters he wrote to me, once he was home in Paris, was to ask once more if I could please search for that sketchbook, and send it to him. Il est très important à mes yeux, he wrote. I have drawings in it that I cherish. It is more than an ordinary sketchbook. I wrote in it too. J’espère que que tu comprends. Je t’embrasse, Edgar.