Camilo José Cela, Audiophile

A record player is better than a phonograph, swankier and more up-to-date, a record player doesn’t have a trumpet, the voice comes out through little slits in the side. Rosicler has some Argentinian relations who call the phonograph a gramophone, the gramophone is even older than the phonograph. The record player which the Casandulfe Raimundo gave our cousin is an Odeon Cadet model. For deep, soulful music, Clair de Lune, Für Elise, a Chopin polonaise, there’s nothing to beat the piano, whereas for music for listening to while canoodling, when you let yourself be swept away, the record player is better for it is more mysterious and has more bite to it. For the Candle Waltz, which is somewhere in between, either the piano or the record player will do. The piano is small and made of lignum vitae with an ivory keyboard. Miss Ramona inherited it from her mother who played elegantly, even stylishly. One evening last winter, when they were both tired of dancing together, Miss Ramona said to Rosicler:

“Quit jacking off that monkey, it’s all very well but it’s bad luck for he’s consumptive into the bargain!”

“Poor Jeremiah!”

Miss Ramona’s piano is a Cramer, Beale and Co. model adorned with two silver candlesticks; in the past folks lived better than they do nowadays.

“But people died younger, too.”

“I’m not so sure of that.”