Across the Margin: Living Three Generations Below a Murderer

I listen to “Clair de Lune” sometimes. It’s a classic piano piece written by Claude Debussy in 1890. The song shares its title with a poem by Paul Verlaine. The poem begins with the words “your soul is a select landscape” and goes on to explain the place where the soul lives:

All sing in a minor key
Of victorious love and the opportune life,
They do not seem to believe in their happiness
And their song mingles with the moonlight…

“Clair de Lune” has been used in various art forms, including the film Twilight, and is referenced throughout history. It is also the song, in July 1942, that my great-grandfather played in a San Leandro hotel room when he killed his lover.

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