Rootling through a charity shop some months ago, I found a DVD of a 1985 biopic entitled Anna Pavlova. I’d never heard of it but, being a diehard ballet fan, I couldn’t resist, especially as the box intriguingly proclaimed that it was directed by the great Michael Powell, with a cast including the unlikely combinationContinuar lendo “24 Frames: Anna Pavlova / The White Swan (1983)”
“Perhaps Bach and Beethoven are strange bedfellows for Mickey Mouse,” he wrote, “but it’s all been a lot of fun, and I want to thank Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, and all my coworkers for holding my head up when the water got too deep.” The cultural waters were deepest in the short film animated toContinuar lendo “24 Frames: The Pastoral Symphony (Fantasia, Hamilton Luske / Jim Handley / Ford Beebe, 1940)”
Serge Diaghilev and Thomas Mann never met, it seems. Yet the life of one and the imagination of the other overlapped to an obviously extraordinary degree. Coincidence is our term for concurrence that is not consciously willed and that we cannot explain in any definitive sense. However, if we retreat from the restrictive world of linear causality and think in terms of context and confluence rather than cause, then it is undeniable that there were many influences – to begin with, those of Venice and Wagner – at work on the imagination of Mann and Diaghilev, two giants of twentieth-century aesthetic sense, influences that led one to create a certain fiction and the other actually to live strikingly near that fiction.
Moreover, one must ask whether Mann’s story was any less real than Diaghilev’s life. Heinrich Mann, in review of his brother’s novella, saw that the central issue of Death in Venice was “Which came first, reality or poetry?” In his “Life Sketch” of 1930, Thomas Mann spoke of the “innate symbolism and honesty of composition” of Death in Venice, a story that, he asserted, was “taken simply from reality.” Nothing was invented, he claimed, none of the settings, none of the characters, none of the events. Tadzio, it has since been established, was in fact a certain Wladyslaw Moes, a young Polish boy on holiday in Venice. Jaschiu was one Janek Fudakowski. Aschenbach bore a distinct resemblance to Gustav Mahler, who died in 1911. Thomas Mann, whose art as a whole is striking in its fusion of autobiographical and imaginative experience, called his novella “a crystallization.”
Rites of Spring: the Great War and the birth of the Modern Age – Modris Eksteins
*Harlequin, 1917 Picasso produced this oil painting during his stay in Barcelona between June and November 1917, with the idea of presenting it at the Liceu Theatre with the ballet Parade performed by Serge de Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The harlequin character – painted frequently by Picasso – appears here above a stage with a balustrade,Continuar lendo “Léonide Massine por Pablo Picasso”