Pg. 511 of David Markson’s copy of Modigliani by Pierre Sichel:
On which Markson placed an X next to a list of many of the attendees at Amedeo Modigliani’s funeral.
On pg. 184 of Vanishing Point, speaking of Modigliani’s funeral, Markson wrote:
“Brancusi. Soutine. Léger. Vlaminick. André Derain. Jacques Lipchitz. Suzanne Valadon. Kees van Dongen. Picasso.
All of whom attended Modigliani’s—after his death in a paupers’ ward.”
One notably absent from Modigliani’s funeral procession:
A woman whom Markson lists in chapter 23 of part 2 of Springer’s Progress among his list of archetypal women:
Modigliani’s 9-months-pregnant lover and muse Jeanne Hébuterne.
She committed suicide by self-defenestration the day after Modigliani died.
Markson wrote of this in Reader’s Block on pg. 95:
“Jeanne Hébuterne, with child, jumped from a window on the morning after Modigliani’s death.”
Or, as he explained in greater depth in Wittgenstein’s Mistress, on pg. 103:
“Besides Briseis, the name of another mistress I remember is Jeanne Hébuterne, who had a child by Modigliani. Although that particular story is one of the saddest I know.
What happened was that Jeanne Hébuterne threw herself out of a window, on the morning after Modigliani died.
While again being pregnant.
The things women used to do, too, one is almost tempted to add.
What do any of us ever truly know, however?
And at least the word mistress had finally gone out of style.”
Markson gave us even further insight into her suicide on pg. 145 of Vanishing Point:
“During the night after Modigliani’s death, and before her suicide from a fifth-floor window, Jeanne Hébuterne repeatedly sketched self-portraits that showed her stabbing herself with a knife.”
Hébuterne’s family blamed Modigliani for her self-destruction, and thus did not allow them to be buried together.
Finally, after ten years, the Modiglianis convinced the Hébuternes that the two should be resting in peace together.
As Markson explained in This Is Not A Novel:
“It took ten years after her suicide for Jeanne Hébuterne’s family to allow her remains to be reburied beside Modigliani’s in the Jewish section of Père Lachaise.” (Pg. 110).
Now they rest in peace side-by-side under a single stone in that famous French cemetery that houses other such luminaries mentioned in Markson’s Notecard Quartet as: Guillaume Apollinaire, Honoré de Balzac, Sarah Bernhardt, Georges Bizet, Frédéric Chopin, Colette, Alphonse Daudet, Eugène Delacroix, Isadora Duncan, Paul Éluard, Max Ernst, Jean de La Fontaine, Théodore Géricault, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Marie Laurencin, Molière, Alfred de Musset, Gérard de Nerval, Édith Piaf, Marcel Proust, Gioachino Rossini, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Oscar Wilde and Richard Wright.
On pg. 35 of Reader’s Block Markson wrote:
“Modigliani died of tuberculosis in a pauper’s ward.”
Under Amedeo Modigliani’s name the gravestone reads:
“Struck down by Death at the moment of glory.”
Under his lover’s name the gravestone reads:
“Devoted companion to the extreme sacrifice.”
“…and poor Jeanne Hébuterne…”
Wrote Markson on pg. 235 of Wittgenstein’s Mistress.