The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

Nijinsky, Vaslav

Published by Texas Bookman
ISBN 10: 0704301245 / ISBN 13: 9780704301245
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Synopsis: Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950), the "God of Dance," was on the verge of a mental breakdown when he wrote this diary as an outlet for his views on religion, art, love, and life. The diary provides unique insight into the inner life of a highly gifted but mentally disturbed creative genius.

Review: Vaslav Nijinsky spent the final six weeks before his permanent consignment to an insane asylum as something a madman in the attic. With his family--wife, young daughters and occasionally, mother-in-law--and household staff downstairs, the legendary dancer retreated to his room in a remote Swiss villa to tangle with his burgeoning psychosis. Fearful that his wife would (as she ultimately did) commit him, and highly suspicious of the physician-cum-amateur psychiatrist who daily came by to examine him, Nijinsky perceived the diary as the only safe haven for the rambling thoughts that were overtaking him. Throughout, the anxiety and anguish are palpable, as Nijinsky writes about his disillusionment with his mentor and lover, Ballets Russes director Serge Diaghilev; his alienation from and distrust of his closest family members; and his fear of insanity and its consequential confinement. His writing becomes more obscure as the weeks progress and he examines his relationship to God, writing "I am God" at one point, and later: "God said to me, 'Go home and tell your wife that you are mad.'" As his schizophrenia evolves, the pace and style of Nijinsky's prose changes radically--toward the end he writes in abstract verse--but he remains, with a dancer's sensibility, attuned to the cadences of his environment. The noises of the household, the ringing of the phone, footsteps down the hall, smatterings of conversations overheard are all registered as a sort of accompaniment to his dance with madness and function perhaps as a final tether to reality.

Nijinsky's wife stumbled upon the diary in a locked trunk some years after her husband disappeared into the abyss of madness and soon released it for publication to feed public interest in her famous mate--but not before she sanitized the manuscript to such a degree (removing references to his homosexuality, overblown ego, bizarre paranoia, and various obsessions with bodily functions and sex acts) that its essence was obscured. Now 80 years after it was written, 20 years after its renegade editor died, and six years after the copyright that Nijinsky's daughters held expired, the unexpurgated version of the diaries faithfully restores the fascinating record of a great artist's struggle for his life.

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Title: The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky
Publisher: Texas Bookman
Binding: PAPERBACK
Book Condition: Good

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Nijinsky, Vaslav
Published by Texas Bookman
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Nijinsky, Vaslav
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NIJINSKY, Vaslav:
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Book Description London Quartet Encounters, 1991. Softcover. Size 8 x 5 iinches. 160 pages. Fine. With an Introduction by Kenneth Macmillan. Bookseller Inventory # 7542

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Vaslav Nijinsky
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Book Description Texas Bookman, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Bookseller Inventory # 0704301245

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Vaslav Nijinsky, Romola Nijinsky (Translator)
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Vaslav Nijinsky
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Vaslav Nijinsky
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