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Serge Diaghilev by Serge Lifar

3 enero, 2009

Serge Diaghilev, his life, his work, his legend: an intimate biography.


PREFACE NOW THAT this book is about to be delivered to the public, I must confess myself moved and somewhat apprehensive, so intimately is it bound up with my life, and so many years has it taken to write

I began to work on it, very soon after Diaghilev s death, and while still pro foundly affected by that event. Aware how swiftly the memory of even the greatest among us fades, and cannot be resuscitated, if there be none to record it, I resolved to set down everything I myself remembered of Diaghilev, from the first days to the last. Then, lest I should omit any of those vivid fleeting details which seem meaningless alone, but in the absence of which I could not hope to evoke him, and again, because they might seem out of place in a formal biography, I decided it preferable to relate not Diaghilev s life but my own, in so far as it linked with his in the years 1923-29, The task then flowed easily, and my Memoirs wrote themselves, so to speak, one reminiscence spontaneously evoking another.

Besides, it was all so recent, so undimmed, and there were my diaries, Serge Pavlovitch s letters to myself, his personal papers, to help my memory and prevent possible lapses. However, even from the very beginning of rny task, certain difficulties made themselves felt, since much of the material involved others, and I had resolved neither to weaken the truth, nor even to amend it.Thus, the obstacles seemed insuperable, and for a time I relinquished the idea. But then, a possible solution presented itself that of continuing the work, but postponing publication for half a century. This left me free to set down the truth, exactly as it had presented itself to me, sparing neither myself nor others, for where individuals are historically important, it is my firm conviction that nothing should either be modified or concealed I therefore continued with my task, and by 1933 had completed it ac cording to my original conception.

Then it was put under seals, and set aside for posthumous publication. Nevertheless, although the picture of Diaghilev which this version presented is both vivid and true, it now seems too personal to me, too intensely concentrated on Serge Pavlovitch the individual, rather than on his career in the service of the arts, as champion of a new artistic culture and aesthetic, founder of The World of Art, and creator of the Russian Ballet And here it is of interest to recall that, when others pried curiously into his life, Diaghilev would always reply quot I, personally, can be of no interest to anyone it is not my life that is interesting, but my work. 1 VI PREFACE Thus, the Memoirs to which I refer contained much that dealt with Diaghilev personally, but little that dealt with his work the reason being that it had not occurred to me then so soon after his death to attempt to gauge, or survey, the importance of this lifework. Besides, I was well aware how inadequate were my powers to do it justice, and how greatly lacking in me was the necessary erudition. I therefore waited for such a work to appear from some other hand one which would reconstructhis career, reveal the ideals behind the work, and do full justice to perhaps its most remarkable feature, the Russian Ballet, though at the same time allowing full significance to all his strenu ous efforts in the dissemination of Russian art painting, music, dancing and his revolutionary influence upon the whole of scenic art. Time passed, but no such work appeared…

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Serge Diaghilev escrito por Serge Lifar
Publicado por READ BOOKS, 2007
ISBN 1406769347, 9781406769340 – 468 páginas

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Roche Press (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406769347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406769340
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
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  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #2,615,789 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)
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