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Cimetière d'Ixelles

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© Courtesy of Art in General
Cimetière d'Ixelles

145 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
September 21st, 2013 - October 19th, 2013
Opening: September 21st, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.artingeneral.org/
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
brooklyn
OPEN HOURS:  
Mon-Thu 12-6

DESCRIPTION

When she came looking for B’s grave a few months after he died in the Hotel de Francia in Port Bou, A found nothing. Nothing, that is, other than one of the most beautiful places she had ever seen. “It was not to be found,” she wrote S shortly afterwards, “his name was not written anywhere.” Yet according to the records provided by the town hall of Port Bou, one of B’s traveling companions, Frau G had paid out seventy-five pesetas for the rental of a “niche” for five years on September 28, 1940, two days after B died from what was diagnosed by the local doctor as cerebral apoplexy, but is generally understood to have been suicide by a massive overdose of morphine tablets.

Yet name or no name, the place was overwhelming.

“The cemetery faces a small bay directly looking over the Mediterranean,” wrote A. “It is carved in stone in terraces; the coffins are also pushed into such stone walls. It is by far one of the most fantastic and most beautiful spots I have ever seen in my life.”

S was not impressed. Years later he seemed downright dismissive, bringing his book-length memoir of B to an end with these words: “Certainly the spot is beautiful, but the grave is apocryphal.” It was an abrupt and sour note on which to end the story of a life, as if the dead man and therefore we, too, had been cheated of an ending, and what we had gotten instead was a suspension, a book whose last page was missing.