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The manuscript of Alma Mahler's Diaries, a pile of old exercise books, lay unread and seemingly illegible in the library of an American university. In search of the truth about Alma and Alexander Zemlinsky, Antony Beaumont read them―and found what he was looking for. But he found far more: the authentic saga of one of the century's most charismatic personalities. The Diaries depict in intimate detail the four years during which Alma grew from adolescence into womanhood. Opening with her first, heady affair with Gustav Klimt, they break off shortly before her marriage to Gustav Mahler. "To me," writes Beaumont, "reading The Diaries is like raising a curtain, behind which stands the Vienna of 1900 in all its majesty, and so close that one can almost reach out and touch it. The vitality of everyday life, eye-witness accounts of significant artistic events, unique insights into the behavioral patterns and linguistic conventions of homo austriacus―all these serve to make the book unique."Having come to grips with Alma's handwriting, Beaumont and his coeditor for the German edition, Susanne Rode-Breymann, added meticulously researched commentaries and annotations. The German edition was published in the autumn of 1997.
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Alma Mahler was born in Vienna in 1879. As the daughter of the landscape painter Emile Schindler, she was afforded easy entrance into the cultural life of the city; it seems that by the time these diaries open there was no part of the artistic, musical, literary, and theatrical life in fin-de-siècle Vienna with which Alma was not intimately connected. Before marrying the composer Gustav Mahler in 1902, Alma had already been a pupil and lover of Zemlinsky, Klimt, and Burckhard. (And after Mahler died she married Walter Gropius, had an affair with Oskar Kokoschka, and then married Franz Werfel.) In combining the naiveté of a teenager on the cusp of womanhood with a wonderfully frank account of a remarkable time and place, Alma has left a priceless and unique record of personal and artistic history. The editor and translator Antony Beaumont rightly comments that reading the diaries is like "raising a curtain, behind which stands the Vienna of 1900 in all its majesty. So close that you can almost reach out and touch it". --Nick WroeReview:
"The Viennese enchantress Alma Schindler (1879-1964) was one of our era's most fascinating and fabled women. . . . The youthful Diaries . . . strongly illuminate her formative years. . . . Valuable, too, are the attached letters, playbills, concert programs, and snapshots, . . . and Alma's charming drawings, attesting to yet another side of this complex personality. . . . Absorbing . . . and . . . titillating. . . . An incisive portrait of a young femme fatale and a vivid eyewitness account of endearing and enervating turn-of-the-century Vienna."―John Simon, New York Times Book Review
"Captures Alma's youthful impetuousness and celebrated entanglements . . . and will find a wide audience."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Apart from Alma's budding sexuality . . . the appeal and importance of these diaries probably resides in her account of daily life in very interesting circles. . . . The day-by-day account of where she went, who she met, and what she saw or listened to gives a good notion of daily life in Vienna at its peak."―Kirkus Reviews
"Alma flirted with several of Vienna's most brilliant artists, and her diaries, which conclude with her engagement, are as enjoyable for their savvy artistic observations as for their sometimes racy sexuality. Beaumont's selections reveal a young woman with an iron will (she pulled her own molar) who nevertheless craved a submissive role. If her genius husband brought Western music to the edge of modernism, Alma seems balanced on the brink of the modern age―a combination of proto-feminist and femme fatale."―The New Yorker
"The diaries have been translated with panache and appalled affection by Antony Beaumont. 'In places,' he writes in his introduction, 'one can almost picture Alma as a Bloomsbury debutante, but . . . she also like to assume more serious roles: the Catholic agnostic, the Nietzschean immoralist, the art critic, the femme fatale. I have done my best to vary the shades of purple accordingly.' The result is a portrait of Alma as an individual rather than an adjunct, an invaluable prelude to her well-documented career as a consort."―Times Literary Supplement
"The most wonderful masterpiece of unconscious humour."―The Spectator
"Partly a sober chronicle, partly a highly explosive journal intime . . . these jottings are far more than a mere biography."―Süddeutsche Zeitung
"Until now, even experts knew little more than her own, radically white-washed memoirs. . . . Now we can reconstruct the tangled private life of this Viennese jugendstil belle."―Der Spiegel
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Book Description Cornell University Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New Book. First Edition, First Printing (Full Number Line). NOT a remainder. NOT a book club edition. Published by Cornell University Press, 1999. Tan cloth boards with red stamped spine lettering. Book is new; clean, tight, sharp corners, bright spine lettering. Dust jacket is new. No writing, highlighting, underlining, dog ears, etc. No rips or tears. Pages and boards crisp and straight. Spine un-broken with no spine lean. Book in un-read condition. Octavo. 494 pages. ISBN: 0-8014-3654-0. 100% positive feedback. 30 day money back guarantee. NEXT DAY SHIPPING! Excellent customer service. Please email with any questions or if you would like a photo. All books packed carefully and ships with free delivery confirmation/tracking. All books come with free bookmarks. Ships from Southampton, New York. Seller Inventory # ABE-1479672774947
Book Description Cornell University Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110801436540
Book Description Cornell University Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0801436540
Book Description Cornell University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0801436540 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0364895