Aaaal-ma, Tell Us

Some novels have a soundtrack thrust upon them. I am tormented by Tom Lehrer every time I dip into The Artist’s Wife, which is about Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel.

    Aaaaaaaaal-ma, tell us
    All modern women are jealous
    You should have a statue in bronze
    For bagging Gustav and Walter and Franz

Stays with me all bloody day. At very least, I should be humming Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. (But that supposes I know it from Chanel.)

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