DEBUSSY A MUSIC CRITIC LA REVUE BLANCHE
DEBUSSY HAD no means of taking Lily to the Pyrenees and Louÿs, the only friend who might have helped him, was not only sick himself far away in Spain, but had suffered from similar bad luck in his own matrimonial life. Madame Louÿs had to be hospitalized in Barcelona. "What poor little creatures are these women," Louÿs pondered. "If they don't marry, they become ill, so they say, because of their chastity. And when they try to have a child, it's even worse. . . ."
There was nothing Debussy could do but to take care of Lily as best as he could. Gradually, during the autumn, Lily's health began slowly to improve, although Debussy remained anxious -- "her life hangs on something so frail and her whole system is completely shattered," he said. He practically never left her side and it was during these months that he forced himself to complete the first two of the three Nocturnes. The scheduled public performance of the Nocturnes was not an event, in Debussy's opinion, of any consequence in his artistic or financial affairs, and as his relationship with Hartmann's heirs was hopelessly entangled, for once Debussy was ready to accept Louÿs's latest proposition.
In debt, with a sick wife on his hands and no money to pay the rent, Debussy had no time to thrash out the old argument about "popular presentation" of his work and he agreed "to compose eight pages for violins, silences, and chords for brass instruments which would give what one calls 'the impression of art' " according to