By Harry Kessler, Laird Easton
Those interesting, never-before-published early diaries of count number Harry Kessler--patron, museum director, writer, cultural critic, soldier, undercover agent, and diplomat--present a sweeping landscape of the humanities and politics of Belle Époque Europe, a glittering international poised to be replaced irrevocably by means of the nice conflict. Kessler's immersion within the new artwork and literature of Paris, London, and Berlin unfolds within the first a part of the diaries. This subtle global provides option to brilliant descriptions of the bad combating at the japanese and Western fronts of worldwide struggle I, the interesting deepest discussions one of the German political and army elite concerning the growth of the warfare, in addition to Kessler's account of his position as a diplomat with a mystery challenge in Switzerland.
Profoundly sleek and infrequently prescient, Kessler was once an erudite cultural impresario and catalyst who as a cofounder of the avant-garde magazine Pan met and contributed articles approximately the various top artists and writers of the day. In 1903 he grew to become director of the Grand Ducal Museum of Arts and Crafts in Weimar, decided to make it a middle of aesthetic modernism along with his pal the architect Henry van de Velde, whose college of layout could finally develop into the Bauhaus. while a public scandal compelled his resignation in 1906, Kessler grew to become to different tasks, together with taking part with the Austrian author Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the German composer Richard Strauss at the opera Der Rosenkavalier and the ballet The Legend of Joseph, which used to be played in 1914 by way of the Ballets Russes in London and Paris. In 1913 he based the Cranach-Presse in Weimar, probably the most very important deepest presses of the 20 th century.
The diaries current awesome, sharply etched, and infrequently richly comical descriptions of his encounters, conversations, and artistic collaborations with essentially the most celebrated humans of his time: Otto von Bismarck, Paul von Hindenburg, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, Vaslav Nijinsky, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Sarah Bernhardt, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Marie Rilke, Paul Verlaine, Gordon Craig, George Bernard Shaw, Harley Granville-Barker, Max Klinger, Arnold Böcklin, Max Beckmann, Aristide Maillol, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, Éduard Vuillard, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, Ida Rubinstein, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Pierre Bonnard, and Walther Rathenau, between others.
Remarkably insightful, poignant, and cinematic of their scope, Kessler's diaries are a useful list of 1 of the main unstable and seminal moments in smooth Western heritage.