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56 DRAMATIC AND LYRIC INTERPRETATION
outside of the prison; the authorities are charitable enough not to prolong his torment. Within a short distance from the prison the scaffold is erected. The crowd — in spite of the early hour, there is a crowd — is kept a great distance from the scaffold.
The Place de la Roquette in Paris was the scene of these tragic episodes, which, by the way, I have never witnessed.
Now do not think my distinction between exterior or interior form of expression of tragedy applies only to lyric interpretation, it applies also to dramatic interpretation. In fact, there is only one interpretation of dramatic art, be it an opera, a tragedy, or a comedy, as there is one technique for an antique tragedy by Euripides, a modern tragedy by Racine or Corneille, or even a simple song.
As I have often repeated, the song is nothing else than a condensed drama.
Its interpretation is as difficult as it is easy.
Difficult because you bear the whole burden of its interpretation, easy because you are independent and unhampered. You are alone on the stage, each spot of it is by your will the center beyond the dispute and beyond the envy of inferior collaborators. You are the only