Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Aaron Copland to his family, October 18, 1921.
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207 Bd. Raspail
Paris (XIV) Oct. 18, 1921
Dear Ma & Pa, --
I received your letter of the 29th, forwarded from the bank, and also one from Lil on the same day. Lil made me wait a long time for that letter but it sure was worth it. You can thank her for me and tell her I'll write at the first opportunity.
By this time you must have received my last letter with the news of the selling of my first composition. In a week I expect to get the proofs, which must be corrected before the piece is published. But that won't take long, and I hope you will have a copy of the printed piece (my first) by my twenty-first birthday. Let me tell you what I have decided to do with the 500 francs I have made. With 100 I shall buy music and books that I have been anxious to have, and the other 400 I hope to put towards a trip to London, England at about Christmas time for a stay of about 10 days. Of course, its much too early to give you any definite plans, but that is vaguely what I expect to do.
I have been to see my first play in French. Before going, I took the precaution to read it, so that I understood almost every word. Altho the opera is going strong, concerts hardly begin here until Nov. 1st. Have you been receiving many passes for me?
About a half a block from our house is a very famous literary café where all sorts of poets, painters and musicians hang out every night. Harold and I also do the same, of course. One hears French[,] English, Russian, Danish and Spanish conversation all at once. People are dressed funny, have long beards, crazy ties and so forth. (Leon would call them nuts, I call them artists.) However, its very interesting to watch them, and we have already begun getting in with the bunch, altho I haven't grown any beards -- as yet!
I haven't found any teachers as yet but hope to get connected soon. In the meantime, I am working along by myself, doing some practicing, and lots of reading, and some sight-seeing to museums and Napoleon's tomb. We spend lots of evenings at the American Library here, where one can read the "Times" and magazines in English.
As far as meals are concerned we have picked out two very excellent restaurants where we regularly eat. I have become so French that I never have a meal without wine or at least beer. For 50¢ you can get soup, chicken, potatoes, pastry, coffee, wine and bread; all of the very best quality, so you see we are well fed. We are still having summer weather here, tho the evenings are getting cooler.
I am enclosing the statement of the bank for September. Notice that I got 43.50 frcs. interest for 4 months. I have already written you that I shall have about 3000 frcs. in the bank left by November 1st. I wonder if Pop has noticed that French money is even cheaper now than when we bought it. Thats about all the news. Harold sends his regards. Love to all.