Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné (1626–1696), French aristocrat and witty letter writer. Her correspondence with her daughter was published in 1725. Letters to other recipients were published in subsequent years.
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (1760–1825), born French aristocrat, early socialist theorist. He proposed a new Christianity, redueced to its essential elements. "The whole of society ought to strive towards the amelioration of the moral and physical existence of the poorest class; society ought to organize itself in the way best adapted for attaining this end."
Phèdre was first performed in 1677, its subject taken from Greek mythology. In the absence of her royal husband Thésée, Phèdre ends by declaring her love to Hippolyte, Thésée's son from a previous marriage.
Bérénice was first performed in 1680. Racine took as his inspiration a single sentence written by a Roman historian: "Titus, who passionately loved Berenice and who was widely thought to have promised to marry her, sent her from Rome, in spite of himself and in spite of herself, in the early days of his empire."
Folies Bergère is a Parisian music hall. Josephine Baker performed here off and on throughout the 1920s and 30s.
Le Sphinx was a Parisian brothel.
French: "horse piss".
Robert Lee Frost (1874–1963), American poet, highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech.
"The Road Not Taken" might be particularly apt for Larry.
Carl Sandburg (1878–1967), American writer and editor, Pulitzer Prize winner. Much of his poetry focused on Chicago, where he spent time as a reporter. The 1916 poem "Chicago" is a brilliant example.
Possibly the aforementioned "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (page 163).
The Calais-Mediterranée Express — Le Train Bleu, for its dark blue sleeping cars — was a luxury overnight express train between Calais and the French Riviera from 1922 until 1938.
“Behold I show you a mystery we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed. " (1 Corinthians 15:51,52).
The phrase is variously rendered as "trump" or "trumpet" in different versions of the Bible. Elliott may here be betraying his Protestant upbringing.
Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864), English writer and poet.
The lines the narrator recites were written by Landor in 1849, on his 74th birthday, as an epitaph for himself.