Inside Nijinsky’s Diaries (with Paul Giamatti)

Inside Nijinsky’s Diaries (with Paul Giamatti)


I guess I need to use this ladies and
gentlemen welcome I’m Jennifer Homans I’m the founder and director of this – not
working, oh I can stand – is that better? So welcome I’m Jennifer Homans I’m the
founder and director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts and I’m here to
welcome you to this evening about Nijinsky’s Diaries and the–in conjunction
with the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s production of Letter to a Man first I’m
going to take a very short time in thanks I’m going to thank Paul Giamatti, our
panelists, all of them who I will introduce you in a moment-
NYU, the Mellon Foundation and our colleagues at BAM for helping us to
arrange this event the evening will go as follows just so you know Paul
Giamatti will be reading from the diaries of Nijinsky then we will pause
and we will reset for a moment for a panel of experts to discuss the Diaries
and the production at BAM including Joan Acocella who’s edited
the version of the diaries we are using here tonight and I can highly recommend to
you all Larry Wolff a scholar of Central European
history and culture and the writer Darryl Pinckney who also worked on the BAM
production is it not working fuzzy okay so is this better I don’t
know what else to do I could shout before we begin I’m going to just
briefly set the scene and Joan is going to talk to us more about the scene later
our subject here tonight is Vaslav Nijinsky the man and the diaries.
Nijinsky was born in Kiev around 1889 his parents were polish itinerant
dancers- Vaslav actually made his debut in a circus when he was seven his
father then left the family his mother settled in St. Petersburg
and enrolled Vaslav and his sister Bronislava also an important choreographer
and dancer at the Imperial theater school Vaslav became a dancer and in
the early years of the 20th century joined the impresario Sergio Diaghilev
and his now legendary Ballet Russe they left Russia before the war and before
the Revolution for Europe and neither one of them ever returned to live there
again they were also lovers as well as collaborators in the years to come Nijinsky of course became the most celebrated dancer and choreographer in
Western Europe I think it’s fair to argue. With Diaghilev’s company he
invented a really sort of new and strange kind of dance a far cry from the
fairytale dances that had preceded it Afternoon of a Faun which he
choreographed and danced and ended with him masturbating on stage Rite of Spring
enacted a brutal ritual sacrifice of the death of a virgin
maiden so these are really life-changing ballets “I am accused,” he said proudly, “of
a crime against grace.” There were of course many other dances too then in
1919 at the age of 29 he began a descent into madness from which he would never
recover he also at the same time began to write his diary and including the
Letter to a Man addressed to Serge Diaghilev. At the same time and in fact
on the same day he performed his last dance which was a solo dance and here’s
how it went he appeared in simple loose-fitting pants and a shirt with
sandals very plainly dressed he placed a chair in the centre of the room and sat
stoically staring at the fashionably dressed audience while the pianist
played uncomfortably on because Nijinsky wasn’t moving he was
just sitting there and he sat there for quite a long time finally in silence he
took two bolsters of fabric one black and one white and he unrolled them on
the stage into a large cross he stood at its head with his arms open christ-like
and said “Now I will dance the war, the war you did not prevent and are also
responsible for.” This was the last dance that Nijinsky ever performed he was
subsequently institutionalized and he died in 1950 so we have the Diaries to
talk about tonight the Diaries survive him as a document of madness his madness
and the sign of a man who was a dancer and a revolutionary maker of dances so
now I will welcome Paul Giamatti to do two readings from the Diaries and to
finish with a reading of the letter to a man to Serge Diaghilev thank you very
much Paul welcome After I finish this book I will not
live as I did before I want to write about death and therefore any fresh
impressions I call fresh impressions when a man writes about things he has
experienced I will write about everything I have experienced I want to
experience things I’m a man in death I am NOT God I am NOT man I’m a beast and
a predator I want to make love to prostitutes I want to live like an
unnecessary man I know that God wants this and therefore I will live that way
I will live that way until he stops me I will gamble on the stock exchange
because I want to do so at other peoples expense I am an evil man I do not love
anyone I wish harm to everyone and good to myself I’m an egoist I am NOT God I
am a beast a predator I will practice masturbation and spiritualism I will eat
everyone I can get hold of I will stop at nothing I will make love to my wife’s
mother and my child I will weep but I will do everything God commands me I
know that everyone will be afraid of me and will commit me to a lunatic asylum
but I don’t care I’m not afraid of anything
I want death I will blow my brains out if God wants it I will be ready for
anything I know that God wants all this for the
improvement of life and therefore I will be his instrument it’s past 1 o’clock
I’m still not asleep I know that people must work in the daytime but I work at
night I know that tomorrow I will have red eyes my wife’s mother will be afraid
because she will think that I am mad I hope that I will be committed to a
lunatic asylum I will rejoice at this event because I like to tyrannize
everyone I take delight in tyrannizing tyranny is familiar to me I used to know
a dog named Chitra that dog was good I spoiled it I taught it to masturbate
against my leg I taught it to come against my leg I liked that dog
I did all these things when I was a kid I also did what the dog did it but with
my hand I came at the same time as the dog I know that many girls and women
make love to animals in this way I know that my maid Louise does this with cats
and I know my cook does this with cats I know that everyone does this sort of
thing I know that all small dogs are spoiled I know one Hungarian family
where the daughter did this with a gorilla but gorilla bit her in the place
where it was screwing her see the ape was angry because the woman failed to
understand it apes are stupid animals and the woman was trying to fool the
gorilla so the gorilla bit her and she died in horrible agony. I know that many
women put all kinds of sweet things inside themselves so that animals will
lick them I know women who have that animals licking them I know people who
lick I used to lick my wife I wept but I licked
I know terrible things because I learned them from Diaghilev, Diaghilev taught me
everything I was young and I did stupid things but I do not want to practice
these things anymore I know what all this leads to I have seen women who
get screwed by men several times in a row I myself used to screw my wife as
many as five times a day I know what all this leads to I do not want to do these
things anymore I know that many doctors prescribe this according to them a man
must screw his wife every day I know that everyone believes it I know there
are doctors who prescribe it as an essential thing for a man to make love
to a woman, for without that it is not possible to exist I know that people do
this only because they have a great deal of lust I know many poems about lust.
Lust is a terrible thing I know that the clergy practices the same sort of thing
I know that the church does not forbid lascivious activities I know a
case where my wife and her maid had to go to confession to say that they were
almost raped in the basement of a London church I’ve forgotten the name of the
church I’ll give it later I can ask my wife
I want to screw her in order to have a child and not because of lust I do not
want to feel lust I do not like the feeling of lust I want to live I will
feel lust because God will want it My corns disappeared I noticed today
that I had no corns but my toes are shortened did not have a nice shape
I noticed that my toes had no nerves I realized that our whole life is
regeneration I realized that if people went on living in this way they would
have no toes I realized that people did not think about what they were doing
I know that the earth regenerates itself I realize that people contribute to its
regeneration I noticed that the earth is becoming extinguished and that all life
is becoming extinguished with it I realize that the oil that is pumped out
of the earth and gave heat to the earth and that coal is what had burned up
inside the earth I realized that without burning there would be no life I
realized that we needed the heat of the earth that the life of the earth was its
heat I realized that people abused the practice of pumping oil and petroleum
out of the earth I realized that people did not understand the meaning of life so I know that it’s difficult to live
without oil and petroleum I know that people need coal I know that
precious stones are burnt out and decomposed elements I know that water is
the remains of Earth and air I know that the moon is covered with water I know
that astronomers have seen canals and I understand the meaning of canals I know
that people use the canals as a means of escape I will be a fish and not a man
people do not help me I realize that the earth is becoming extinguished I know
that the earth used to be a sun I know what the Sun is the Sun is fire people think
that life depends on the Sun I know that life depends on people I know what life
is I know what death is. The sun is reason the intellect is an
extinguished Sun that is decomposing I know that decomposition destroys life I
know that the earth is being covered with the decomposed matter and I know
that people abused decomposition scientists are covering the earth all
the time the earth is suffocating there’s not
enough air for it earthquakes are due to the shaking of
the Earth’s entrails the earth’s entrails are mine I tremble when I am not
understood I feel a lot and therefore I live, within me the fire is never
extinguished I live with God people do not understand me I came here to help I want
paradise on earth today there is hell on earth hell is when people quarrel
yesterday I quarreled with my wife for her own improvement I was not angry
I made her angry not out of anger but in order to kindle in her a love for me I
want to kindle the earth and people and not extinguish it. Scientists extinguished
the earth and human love I know that it is inconvenient to write in this
notebook but I’m writing in it because I think it’s a pity to use up the paper
well I know that if men had pity for each other
life would last longer. Now I know many people will tell me it’s not important
to live for a long time they will say life will be long enough for me but
after all that phrase speaks of death people do not like children people
think that their children are not them people think that children are necessary
in order to have more soldiers people kill children and cover the earth with
ash ash is harmful to the earth people said that ash is good for the earth I
know that when the earth is covered with ash it suffocates I know it means life
I’m a Russian and therefore I know what earth is I do not know how to plow but I know
that the earth glows without its warmth there would be no bread
people think they must burn the bones of the dead in order to fertilize soil I
will say that this is bad because the earth is made fertile by warmth and not by
ash I realized that the earth is putrefaction
I know that putrefaction is a good thing I know there without putrefaction there
would be no bread I know the putrefaction covers the earth and in
this way destroys the Earth’s heat and I realize that people think that one must
eat a lot I consider food a habit I know that man is by nature very strong I know
that people weaken him because they take no care of his life I know that people
must live and therefore I want to explain to scientists I know that many
scientists will laugh but I understand the meaning of this laughter I do not
want laughter I want love love is life and laughter is death I like laughing
what God wills it so well I know many people will say why is Nijinsky always
talking about God, he’s mad we know he’s a dancer and nothing else I
understand all those sneers those sneers do not annoy me I weep and weep I know
that many people will say that Nijinsky is a crybaby I know what a
crybaby is I’m not a crybaby I’m not a dying man I’m alive and therefore I
suffer my tears rarely flow I weep in my heart I know what a crybaby is people
call crybabies those who have weak nerves I know what nerves are because I
was nervous. I turned off the electric light because I want to economize.
I’ve understood the meaning of economy I do not mind spending the money but I do
mind spending energy I’ve realized that without energy
there would be no life I realize the meaning of the earth which is being
extinguished and therefore I want to give people an idea of how it would be
possible to obtain electricity without coal coal is essential for the heat of
the earth and therefore I do not want to take out coal. To man I cannot call you by name because you
cannot be called by your name I’m not writing to you quickly because I don’t
want you to think I’m nervous I’m not a nervous man I’m able to write calmly I
like writing I do not like writing fine phrases I never learned to write fine
phrases I want to write down thoughts I need thought I’m not afraid
of you I know you hate me I love you as a human being I do not want to work with
you I want to tell you one thing I work a lot I’m not dead I’m alive within me
lives God I live in God God lives in me I’m very busy working on dances my
dances I’m making progress I write well but I do not know how to
write fine phrases you like fine phrases you organize troupes I do not organize
troupes I’m not a corpse I’m a living person you’re a dead person because
your aims are dead I’ve not called you friend because I know that you are my
enemy I am not your enemy an enemy is not God God’s not an enemy enemies seek
death I seek life I have love you have spite I am NOT a predatory beast you
are a predatory beast predatory beasts do not like people I like people
Dostoevsky liked people I’m not an idiot I am a human being I am an idiot
Dostoevsky is an idiot you thought I was stupid I thought you were stupid we
thought we were stupid well I don’t want to decline I don’t like declensions
you like people bowing down to you I like people bowing down to me you revile
those who bow down I like those who bow down I call for declensions you
frighten declension my declension is a declension I don’t want your smile for
it smells of death I am NOT death and I don’t smile I don’t write in order to
have a laugh I write in order to weep. I’m a man with feeling and reason you’re a man
with intelligence and without feeling your feeling is evil
my feeling is good you want to destroy me I want to save you I like you you
don’t like me I wish you well you wish me ill I know your tricks I pretended to
be nervous I pretended to be stupid I was not a kid I was God I am God within
yourself you are a beast but I am love you did not love those people now I love
those people everyone now don’t think I don’t listen I am NOT yours you are not
mine I love you now I love you always I am yours I am my own you are mine I like
declining you I like declining myself I am yours I am my own you are mine I am
God you have forgotten that God is I have forgotten that God is you are within me I
am within you you’re mine and I am yours you were the one who wants death you are
the one who loves death I love love love I am love but you are death you are
afraid of death of death I love I love I love you are death but I am blood your
blood is not love I love you you I am NOT blood but I am the spirit
I am the blood and the spirit in you I am love I am love you don’t want to live
with me I wish you well you are mine you are mine I am yours I am yours I love
writing with a pen I write I write you do not write you tele-write you are a
telegram I am a letter you’re a machine I am love you are a woodpecker I am a
woodpecker you reach manhood I reach manhood
you are a “vmuzhay” I am a “vmuzhay” we are a “vmuzhai”, you are a “vmuzhai” you are a male I am a male
we are males you are males your “muzhay” is not my
“muzhay” you are a “vmuzhay” I am a “vmuzhay”. You are a male I am NOT yours.
Yours is he but mine is not you you are yours but I am he he is mine he is not
yours I want to tell you that you cannot be so I want to tell you that you cannot
be so I am yours you are mine we are we we are not you we are we we are not you you
are the one who calls for death you are the one who calls for death I am noise
but you’re not mine mine is one’s own but one’s own is not you as you’re a
woodpecker I am NOT a woodpecker you knock and I knock your knock is your knock
but mine is a knock knock knock knock and a knock that is a knock I am a knock but I do not knock
you knock knock knock I knock knock knock I’m knocking in your soul you knock in your
brain I love you my knock I am a knock a knock but you are not a knock
I want to knock within the knock you knock in the brain in the brain I want
to knock for you knock knock knock a knock as a cockerel I am a cockerel but not a
cockerel you are a cockerel but not a cockerel I sing sing sing you sing sing
sing I drink drink drink you drink drink drink
I’m a cockerel a cockerel a cockerel I’m a cockerel a cockerel a cockerel my
cockerel sings sings your cockerel drinks drinks I am a cockerel but you are not
mine I am a cockerel but you are not yours we sing in the cockerel I sing
without the cockerel we sing of the cockerel I sing without cockerel sing
sing sing cockerel sing cockerel cockerel will die will die I sing I sing
I will die I will die I sing I sing I will die I will die you will die without
the cockerel I will die with the cockerel your cockerel is death is death my cockerel is life is life I love you, cockerel. I love you, cockerel. you sing and I sing we sing but I am
not yours I sing well you sing badly I sing sing sing you sing sing sing we
sing but I am not yours you are not mine and I am not yours you do not love
me one’s own I love you not one’s own you’re not mine and I am not yours we
are yours you are not theirs I am yours but you are not mine mine is yours mine is yours
poro poro poro tok. I poro poro I poro poro I poro poro poro you porosh you porosh I porosh you porosh I am tok but you are tok tok
tok tok poroshok I am porosh but you are oshok I am poshok but you are
dushok I am toshok but you are tushok we in prokh are poroshok I am
porosh but you are oshok ha ha we make a noise we make a noise you are not
noise but I am noise I am young but you are old we are death but I am young Lolod is life but not a sledgehammer I am a sledgehammer not a hammer you are tok
and I am tok I am tok tok tok tok tok tok not tok we are
tok tok tok to you and not tok but I am tok I am tok tok tok I wish you
tok tok tok you are not tok you’re not tok I am tok I am tok I tok
every day you tok every day we tok we tok you tok I am not toch ah Chech is
Toch I am NOT Toch we chech and I chech I chech, chech chech chech is not
chech I chech ul khul, I chech I am ul khul Chul chul you are their chul, mul chul you
are khul I am a prick but not yours you are mine but I am not yours mine is a prick
because the prick I am the prick I am the prick I am God in my prick I am God in my
prick yours is a prick not mine not mine I am a prick in His
prick I prick prick prick you are a prick but not the prick I can prick prick you
cannot prick a prick I am NOT a prick in your prick I am a prick in His prick. Chuyu Chuy I am not chuy you are chuy not mine
in chuy I am chuy chuy you are not chuy we are chuy not not chuy chuy chuy chuy
not chushuya. I am not chuy in a scaly skin I am chuy
I am a chuy chuy chuy chuy chuy but not uy, uy is intelligence but not mine I
am intelligencing I love, mine is the intelligence in the chuy intelligence I
am chuy I love chuy chuy chuy not scaly skin I am God not in a scaly
skin a scaly skin is intelligence in chuy I am chuy I am chuy I want to write a lot to you but I
cannot work with you for your aims are different. I know that you know how to
pretend I don’t like to pretend I like pretense when a person wants the good
of others you are a spiteful man but you are not King I am you’re not my king I am your
king you wish me harm I do not wish harm you’re a spiteful man but I am a lullaby
Rock a bye bye bye bye sleep in peace raka bye bye bye bye bye Man to man. Vaclav Nijinsky. all right I don’t think I have anything
to say so we’re just going to set up chairs here and many thanks I know I
speak for all of you to Paul for reading for us and we’re going to now have a
conversation about some of what was just said are we moving one further over?
that’s good I’m not going to introduce people because you have everything in
your program and I don’t want to take the time so you know who these people
are right Larry Wolff Darryl Pinckney Joan Acocella please welcome them and
we can begin so what I asked people to do here
tonight was I thought we would just hear from each of them first Joan and then
talking a little bit about Nijinsky and his life since she is the person who
knows the most about this probably in the world
Darryl talking something about the production and his experiences and then
Larry talking to us a little bit about the broader background and history and
then we will have a conversation between us and hopefully it will be very
interesting so Joan why don’t you go ahead turn on my thing um that was a wonderful reading and
I want to remind you that the man who wrote it wrote those words was having a
psychotic break so uh and he was at that time writing through the night and so I
think probably at four o’clock in the morning that is how it went through his
brain also the, the sexual material in the first one I don’t know a lot of
schizophrenics but according to the textbooks a sense of sexual sin is is
quite common as common as the word play in the third selection and oh and the
grandiose plans for the saving of the earth so it is important in reading the
diary Oh obviously maybe you’ll tell me when my time is that I thought it would
be a wonderful idea– but it’s really quite an experience to edit a
book by somebody who is so a full of grief and
and fear as you heard he thinks at times that he can save the earth and that he
is God and then at other times he knows or he fears and he knows that he’s going
to be put in an insane asylum soon which was accurate
he was quite soon all right so as Jennifer said Nijinsky was born in either 1889 or 1890 his
sister and the gravestone disagree and he was the child of polish dancers in
those days and in some countries still dancing was a family thing he grew up on
the road the parents when they went to the theatre would lock the children in
the hotel room and the children played these these very often theater games
they would make up theater there’s a sister Bronislava
there’s Nijinsky and then there’s stanislav stanislav when he was three
years old fell out of a window onto a cobble stone drives and he was never
right afterwards and they put him they finally put him in an institution when
he was a teenager Nijinsky was very much afraid of the other children in the
institution when they went to to visit the father abandoned the family
I hope it’s go on like this it was just a train of tragedies the father
abandoned the family when his mistress got pregnant and that’s–Nijinsky was
eight years old father left and the mother
Eleonora moved to st. Petersburg and through connections got Nijinsky
into the Imperial school he was nine years old he was very quickly recognized
as a remarkable prodigy he had no talent for
any of his school subjects his sister did his homework the only thing that he
managed to pass was well ballet and religion the he joined the Mariinsky
ballet which we call the Kirov but we’re supposed to start calling it the
Mariinsky again he joined at the age of 18 skipping the
introductory level of corps de ballet he became a soloist and once again was
instantly recognized there was never a period of obscurity for Nijinsky although I don’t know whether there ever is a period of obscurity for a dancer on
that level he had such extraordinary skills the
older ballerinas fought to have this 18 year old boy partner them so um in in
those days and maybe in some countries still dancers supplemented their incomes
by informal concubinage and and people you know wealthy men went to the ballet to pick out boyfriends and girlfriends Nijinsky he went through a
few lovers male all male to my knowledge very much encouraged by his mother who
did not want him to get married and who very much appreciated the increase in
income from Nijinsky’s being with counts and and princes in 1908 when Nijinsky
was about 20, 19 he met Sergei Diaghilev who was about 17 years older than he was
it’s an important fact Diaghilev was 17 years older and already
somewhat famous man he was a very much a leader of the arts young arts in st.
Petersburg he met him he told Nijinsky to come around to his hotel room the
next day or according to Nijinsky’s diary, he was told to come around to the hotel
room the next day he did he was bedded and hired Diaghilev was planning to take a
troupe of dancers to Paris and he hired he very wisely hired
Nijinsky to to come with him I’m ceased to be a dancer with the Mariinsky
belly but Diaghilev what seems to he was soon fired two years later in in
1911 for wearing an improper costume all of Nijinsky’s life was accompanied
by scandal he was an extremely actually extremely modest and I don’t even know
how sexual a man but but his whole life was scandal anyway he was
fired for wearing improper costume and they the theater administration thought
that they patch it all back together the next day but no Diaghilev was now in
charge of Nijinsky, Nijinsky was going to be with him the company that Diaghilev formed completely altered the history of classical ballet
in the west classical ballet was pretty much dead is the wrong word but it was
extremely calcified and as one woman said the snobs sent their servants to
the ballet on their birthdays probably with the children um but Diaghilev made
ballet experimental with young artists with good sense in
music he discovered artists such as Nijinsky such as Stravinsky and and in
some measure no not in some measure Diaghilev saved classical ballet and
Nijinsky was a big part of that when Nijinsky arrived in Paris in 1909
the people in Paris had never seen a great or even probably masterful male
ballet dancer they had seen very competent and probably somewhat exciting
female ballet dancers in probably extremely corny and fusty old
productions but never a man once again there was a note of scandal and it
helped create a great deal of excitement and Nijinsky looked foreign very he
looked harder to them in school the kids called him “jap” the and also Nijinsky
lived openly with Diaghilev which was an extremely unusual situation the and
the ballets that the house choreographer Michel Fokine made for Nijinsky very
often featured some sort of sexual off-centeredness he was not a man
necessarily he was a a slave of you know indeterminant
gender or he was a rose or he was a Narcissus who falls in love with
himself he was never just he was never just a man his most famous roles in the
early years were Scheherazade you you probably all know these ballets
Scheherazade where he wears he’s the golden slave and he’s what the French call
cher a plaisir he was like a yum yum he was a you
know all right oh shoot okay we’re going to
have to get rid of that the yes the all right he became very famous in the
Fokine ballets the and okay and but truly do you want me to sell like two
minutes three minutes to tell me okay good enough so but I’m telling I’m
getting to the important part which is really really the important part because
those most of those ballets look a little corny to us now the ones that
have survived are Petrushka in which he was very great apparently and that’s
where people saw his apparently utterly extraordinary acting skills
forget the dancing skills but he had an ability it seems to become to sink into
the role and become emblematic of the emotion and then of course his technical
skills were utterly remarkable he his sister speaks of entrechat douze which is the
beats but twelve of them before coming down it’s his sister but and also what
he was very famous for was his jump which was not only high but had great
balon which is lightness and ability to stay up and but the important what is
so important to us now is that Diaghilev encouraged Nijinsky to become a
choreographer and he made four ballets only one of which survives the afternoon
of a faun and and survives in a beautiful state it still looks beautiful
it doesn’t look like something that we took out of a museum and put up in front of
people okay – no! one minute! after the Rite of Spring
in 1913 Nijinsky the company went on tour to South America Diaghilev did
not go with them and Nijinsky two weeks out of court married a groupie of the
Ballet Rus who had attached herself to the company
Diaghilev then fired Nijinsky I’ve heard many people say that Diaghilev was a
terrible man to have done such a thing and I always say to them if your
boyfriend went on tour and two weeks out of port married somebody wouldn’t you
fire him I mean but but in any case it was the end for Nijinsky the he later
went back into the company went back out went back in went back out but his
mental state very much deteriorated year by year finally he went he and his wife
moved to Switzerland at the very end of 1917 to to wait out the war and for
about one year Nijinsky day-by-day fell apart he threw his wife down the
stairs holding their daughter he drove his sled into somebody else’s sled he
went down to town with a big cross on his chest and told people to go to
church and he wrote that diary um he wrote it in six weeks six and a half
weeks um he wanted to write much more but his wife said Vaclav
there’s a nice nerve doctor in Zurich that I’d like you to see and and he went
with her as the diary ends he says I’m packing up these notebooks so that I can
get them published in Zurich and I’m going to this nice nerve doctor and and
that’s the end the nerve doctor was a psychiatrist the famous psychiatrist
Eugen Bleuler the man who invented the term
schizophrenia in 1911 and he declared Nijinsky an incurable schizophrenic he
advised Romola to divorce him which she did not do and he was put in an
institute he they went back to the hotel he locked himself in his room wouldn’t
come out finally Romola called the or no I’m sorry we don’t know who called the
police Romola says she didn’t call the police
that her father-in-law did it the the police broke down the door Nijinsky was
taken to an institution and very shortly was throwing furniture and fell apart
and they never put him back together again
he was what is called a chronic schizophrenic which is basically a kind
of quiet sitting in the corner schizophrenic for the next thirty years
until he died at the age of 60 of from liver failure okay
very sad story Darryl and I are gonna trade trade places if
that’s okay I’m a European cultural historian I’m going to talk a little bit
about the European cultural historical context for the diary I wanted to start
with Sigmund Freud in the 1920s when psychoanalysis was huge and Nijinsky was
a mental patient it was widely supposed that he must have been in analysis with
Freud at some point and someone writes to Freud about it and Freud writes back
a letter denying it Freud writes “Sehr Geehrter Fraulein”, very
proper “your letter gives me occasion for a warning which you certainly will find
valuable namely never believe something just because it is in the newspapers in
reality I have never seen the dancer Nijinsky and I have never had anything
to do with his case” so I want to ask why it would have seemed plausible that
Freud was involved with Nijinsky’s case so much so that it needed to be
emphatically denied in writing in the 30s um how can we think of Nijinsky
first alongside of Freud and the culture of modernism
well 1913 Nijinsky helps to create the Rite of Spring it’s a landmark of
European cultural modernism or the landmark of European cultural modernism
perhaps it’s about violence it’s about sacrifice
it’s about the primitive I mean we’ve already referenced that 1913 Freud
publishes totem and taboo resemblances between the psychic lives of savages and
neurotics which is about the suppression of violence and sexual instincts in
primitive society and culture parallel 1911 Nijinsky is a huge success in
Fokine specter of the rose he’s eros jumping through the window into the
sleeping consciousness of a girl it could be a page out of Freud’s
interpretation of Dreams 1912 Nijinsky’s afternoon of a faun right concludes
simulating masturbation masturbation which Freud had already envisioned as
part of the polymorphous perversity of all of our sexual formations in the
famous three essays so these are some parallels for thinking about Nijinsky’s
career in ballet alongside Freud’s career in psychoanalysis but Nijinsky
was actually part of the world of Central European
modernism we of course think of him as Russian by his training polish by his
family origins always think of him in the context of Paris and French culture
because of the Ballet Russe however he is also and especially by marriage part
of the austro-hungarian world of Central European culture his Hungarian–his
Hungarian wife Romola de Pulszky was the daughter of a famous Hungarian actress
Emilia Markus who actually comes up in the drama that is I understand war because I
thought with my mother-in-law um but it’s not just that Nijinsky has a
Hungarian wife Hungary becomes in some sense his default home with Romola
more and more his guardian as well as his wife from 1914 when war breaks out
Nijinsky is a Russian enemy alien in austria-hungary under house arrest in
Budapest in the most important connection to Central Europe though is
through the Swiss German Austrian and Hungarian world of psychiatry and
medicine he’s at the Swiss Bellevue sanatorium from 1919 at kreuzlingen on
lake constance and this already begins to connect him to the world of Freud’s
Vienna and the history of psychiatry it’s actually a totally interesting
transitional moment in the history of psychiatry with the sanatorium as a
phenomenon of the turn of the century just like cultural modernism and in fact
it becomes a totem of cultural modernism when Thomas Mann in the 20s writes the
novel the Magic Mountain about a tuberculosis sanatorium the history of
psychiatry is an evolution from the world of the hospital and the asylum in
the 19th century to the new world of sanatoriums spas private consulting
rooms and couches and the new world of modern chemical and pharmaceutical
treatment which in the case of Nijinsky meant insulin shock treatment Nijinsky
was in some ways a victim of this transitional moment in the treatment of
mental illness the uncertainty over how to deal with mental illness psychiatry
was becoming a 20th century profession built on posh sanatoriums and private
therapy Romola is taking him from one sanatorium to another confining him
emancipating him taking him home putting him back in looking for a therapist
looking for another therapist how could he not have been analyzed by Freud right
no wonder Freud has to issue a statement in 1933 in the early 1920s however in
Vienna Nijinsky is actually treated at the steinhoff sanatorium by doctors from
the University of Vienna from Freud’s world
now the Steinhoff sanatorium is itself a work of Central European cultural
modernism you can picture it it’s Otto Wagner’s gold domed sanatorium
Church it’s been on every poster for every exhibit about fin de siecle
Vienna that we’ve had since the 1980s it was completed in 1907 the same year that
Klimt painted the portrait of Adele bloch-bauer the woman in gold uptown at
the neue gallery and the same year as Joan mentioned 1907 when Nijinsky
graduates and joins the company of the Imperial Ballet in saint-petersburg
he too is a sort of creation of the modernist moment and his psychiatric
treatment at the Steinhoff sanatorium connects him again to that world of
Viennese modernism now his mental illness emerges during the course of
World War one years when we can say the whole world went mad ongoing for years
of mass murder 17 million deaths 20 million wounded the diary shows that
Nijinsky is very very aware of the war and its headlines psychiatry and
psychoanalysis are very engaged with the war Freud for sure but famously W.H.R.
rivers in Scotland who is prescribing talk therapy for shell-shocked we can
even think of the catatonic schizophrenia of Nijinsky who refuses to
communicate as in some ways resembling the shell-shock that everyone was
thinking about at that moment during the war shell-shock seen by some as a
psychiatric defense as a psychic defense against the horrors of war and these
horrors of war also make a huge impression on
Nijinsky right the drama begins ya ponimayu voynu I understand war and as
Jennifer said he actually is trying to dance the war um
the mental collapse in the years of the war probably not a coincidence one of
the things I thought was totally fascinating about the Diary is the story
of Nijinsky and Wilson and I don’t mean Robert Wilson
I mean Woodrow Wilson um the war has not stopped because men think,
writes Nijinsky I know how the war could be stopped Wilson Woodrow Wilson
wants to stop the war but people do not understand him if Wilson wanted to again
he could abolish money if he does not want to abolish money he will not be
able to understand God I understand God and therefore will help Wilson in his
tasks so it’s Wilson actually repeatedly who comes up in the diary showing us
that Nijinsky is actually part of the Messianic European idea of Wilson the
cult of Wilson fighting the war to end Wars to bring a new kind of peace based
on the self-determination of peoples and Nijinsky is obsessed not only with
Christ and Tolstoy and Diaghilev but also unexpectedly with Woodrow Wilson
focused on the headlines of the day the fighting and the ending of the war the
traumatic war which is traumatic for Europe but also individually for
Nijinsky it brings on the moment of his psychic breakdown and coincides with the
collapse of Reason in Europe the moment when going crazy could almost be the
sane thing to do Romola is looking for asylum literally for Nijinsky during
World War one and she’s looking for asylum again during World War two
because there is a world war two story connected to Nijinsky as well he lives
until 1950 she brings him home to Budapest in 1914 at the beginning of
World War one and she brings him home to Budapest again in 1940 at the beginning
of World War two and it’s not actually a great place to be or to experience those
wars Nijinsky lives with her family first after 1940 in Nazi allied hungary
under the government of Admiral horthy and then Nazi occupied Hungary after
1944 they’re there at the moment when Adolf Eichmann is organizing the
deportation of the Hungarian Jews who are actually dangerous to
Romola’s family because her her stepfather was a Hun––was a Hungarian convert from
Judaism but this is a climate that’s also super dangerous to Nijinsky himself
because of the Nazi policy on euthanasia for the mentally ill murder of patients
and sanatoriums is taking place all over Nazi Europe and including the beautiful
Steinhoff sanatorium in Vienna we actually now know this, it’s not
just a work of cultural modernism but a site of Nazi atrocities during the war
Nijinsky actually barely escapes being put to death in an asylum by Nazi
euthanasia policy as the war is ending in Hungary after the war he’s a homeless
displaced person one of millions but the one who happens to have been the most
famous dancer of the early 20th century thinking about the diary in relation to
World War one thinking about Nijinsky in relation to World War two you want to
keep in mind that he lived through the most horrific years of the twentieth
century and one of the interesting things about the Diary is that it also
offers a perspective from the very particular moment of 1919 looking out on
a whole European world that has just come through for traumatic years of war
here’s what Sigmund Freud writes we cannot but feel that no event has ever
destroyed so much the depression is in the common possessions of humanity
confused so many of the clearest intelligences or so thoroughly
debased what is highest it tramples in blind fury on all that comes in its way
as though there were to be no future and no peace among men after it’s over Freud
and Nijinsky lived through the same war in Central Europe it was shattering for
both their worlds the world of the psychoanalyst and the world of the
mental patient even if they never actually met the theater of Robert Wilson text music
costume sets light movement all of them have equal weight and he rehearses and
rehearses and rehearses until he gets the balance that he wants often this means
grinding down everyone in his vicinity until they’re sort of vessels
of his vision and vessels of his will people speak of it as if it’s a kind of a
surreal landscape or dream world and these are maybe the effect he’s willing
to accept he doesn’t think that way has nothing to do with surrealism everything
you see on stage that’s right everything you see on stage is the
answer to a formal problem that the theater the stage has presented to him I
remember as a student in the 70s this incredible Russian guy defected in
Canada and was going to appear in New York we waited in line for an hour and a
half I remember Baryshnikov hanging in the air and one of the first rehearsals
he said oh I can’t jump like that and he was talking about the photograph of
Nijinsky as an old man jumping straight up against a wall he said I could never
jump like that always needed running start and I looked at his wife and he
looked back and we thought okay fine anything you say and there’s a very
famous moment in a documentary where the Baryshnikov begins with his legs crossed
and goes straight up in the air from a standing position no running or anything
like that so he could do everything well he could do everything that no dancer in
a long time had been able to do for he resisted for a long time
offers to play Nijinsky he just didn’t want to I don’t think anyone
on earth other than Baryshnikov could know what Nijinsky felt just because his
own mastery is at such a sort of high and original and individual level so it
sort of seemed a kind of perfect moment I remember that Elizabeth Harvard once
said that all the work of Virginia Woolf seems mad to her because it gives a
sense of being all soliloquy and the thing that makes Nijinsky diaries to me
case work but not literature is the language it’s all declarative sentence
I I I I I it’s part of the heartbreak of the work is its isolation
he had Russian but even his Russian was not very good of the kind of Polish
Russian there’s no French there’s no Hungarian there’s no English so he’s
already when he’s lost Diaghilev living in a new kind of isolation that for me
is what the diaries are about he’s leading crumbs back to himself almost
sort of as he’s losing himself and so it presents a problem of how to stage them
but of course you’re doing it with one guy one man so the burden is on him all
the time you’re going to be thinking or looking
at this one performer all the time and the fact that it’s this one guy isolated
on stage that in itself covers the diary form
because there you have sort of the I but the diary tells a story in a very long
and indirect way that can’t be staged and that Wilson has no interest in
staging he doesn’t do biopics in case you didn’t know but he can think in
textures and that’s what the diary has textures of light and dark it has moods
and so what Wilson did was try to kind of think of the structure of the piece
in terms of the textures and the moods light dark fast slow and these kind of
basic blocks built up a very elaborate frame it takes Robert
Wilson three hours to light three minutes on a good day and the whole
point is for you to see something that looks effortless and not guess how much
work went into it so he gives this frame for Baryshnikov to find his Nijinsky and
he found it in a very subtle way and for all of Nijinsky’s attempts to appear
worldly and in command in the Diaries they’re really full of his innocence and
they’re full of his own heartbreak and even though he was a straight guy he had
this great love affair with Diaghilev and the end of it shocked him and
shocked Diaghilev and in some ways changed their lives and certainly sort
of wrecked Nijinsky’s but Baryshnikov found the innocence of this
genius and in some ways is dancing with that he dances throughout the piece with
Nijinsky innocence and finds a kind of idiom that’s not the ballet but it is
about movement and needing to be in motion in order to express himself in
order to think really so the lights move the stage moves the sets move everything
is always in motion because one rule of Robert Wilson is you have to see
something happening all the time and this is what in some ways the piece is
about but it is Baryshnikov in some ways it’s his own love letter to Nijinsky as
Nijinsky remembers this love letter to Diaghilev and it was Baryshnikov’s idea to
set the peace in 1945 so that you’re very far removed from the dancing career
and what you have left is this artist who cannot reclaim or save himself
and maybe some of you know how that feels
maybe not but we see it okay thank you all very much you know
just I was hoping to just start the conversation with um something that
occurred to me especially as Paul was reading which is that I always think of
Nijinsky as somebody who is silent and that’s because I think I think of him as
a dancer and so I and I also think of him as somebody who arrived in Europe
with none of the languages that were around him and who depended almost
entirely on Diaghilev and others to help him make
his way and so it’s very striking to me that this man who lived and in a world
of in some ways silence he danced in silence not without music but without
voice words and then he goes on to create this document that is all words
and a very deep involvement with words and language so that that is something I
was hoping that we might be able to talk about the other thing that is sort of
related to that that seems to me extremely sort of to be coming out here
is the this side Larry in a way you’re saying that it was almost sane for him
to go insane in the context that he lived and Joan you’re saying insane is
tragic and insane [JA] yeah and and I think he was insane [JH] right but you know
what interests me about that also is it’s about the dancers themselves had a
kind of quality of sane and insane at least from the descriptions we have of
them which is that there’s something that I see in the Diaries to which is
he’s so removed he can move outside of himself and watch himself going insane
yes in a kind of clinical way almost and then you can sort of re-enter the
insanity and in it and the dances have that kind of
cold clinical quality to at least the descriptions especially of the Rite of
Spring by Jacques Riviere and others and there’s something very very rational
about it about its expression of irrationality so you know I’m sort of
wondering what what the rest of you think about that [JA] I just want to add one
footnote to something that Larry said about Nijinsky’s languages it’s true
that he didn’t he didn’t have good Russian and the translator of the diary
complained of this bitterly the but also [JH] were they written in Russian or Polish? [JA] Russian, but his Russian. His Russian
which was not good and I translated the French letters and believe me his French
is not good but I just want to make the point that when he married Romola they
had no language in common so what you said about a silent man true it is true
I mean they found ways to communicate but I think mime came into it, you know? the he
lived a very you know the sort of going theory of schizophrenia for for many
years now he’s been the diathesis-stress theory which is that you have a genetic
predisposition you have a genetic load as they say but stress must come into it
difficult your life is easy if it not easy but if you can have a decent lot
[JH] Yes that was Larry’s point, [JA] exactly but that nothing works out for him and
according to his best biographer his mother was deeply depressed I told you
the father abandoned the family under really sort of I don’t know
scandalous circumstances or scandalous to me in any case [JH] nothing worked out of him
but he had some of the great accomplishments and [JA] well you know it kind
of makes you want to cry right you know I mean he really did um sublimate to use a Freudian term he
created these great things or at least one great thing the afternoon of the
faun and then he fell silent for 30 years I mean you know he was crushed [DP] His period as a choreographer is so brief. Was that part of the tragedy to you? [JA] Yes it’s 1912 to 1916 that’s four years I mean really mean people say that even the
best artists have basically ten to fifteen years no of really wonderful work I mean most people
most including very good artists have about two or three ideas and they can
work them in many different ways and so forth but you know not everybody I mean
they’re of course freakish exceptions to this — George Balanchine Picasso
Stravinsky certain other people actually in some sense as Sigmund Freud but most
as a person who’s reviewed very good artists for 35 years really you know the
best ones is 15 years of top work I’m talking top work and then
there’s the build up to that and then there’s the long build down from tha [JH] But in Nijinsky’s case, it’s a sharp – [JA] Well Nijinsky had only four years he didn’t have to you
know peter out [LW] And there are a lot of reasons why he has only four years but
one of them is that the war comes in 1914 and Nijinsky is not the is not the
only cultural moment but is cut short in 1914 there are a whole set of European
cultural trajectories that are cut short in 1914 I mean it’s a turning point in
history for lots and lots of reasons on the subject of language I mean we say
strange strange Russian strange French a would say
as the person who as the PhD advisor for all the graduate students work at East
European history at NYU that if you’ve ever tried to learn Hungarian as many of
my graduate students have it’s the hardest one of all it’s not related to
Russian or polish or German or French or English and it’s–no, it’s a Finno-ugric language–and so to put place him in a Hungarian context repeatedly [JH] Even more isolating. [LW] Someone
in any way traumatized by language perhaps is probably to increase
that trauma as well but I would say we talked about this before right the
question of the literary merits of the diary I understand that it has lots of
faults [DP] Not faults. Just characteristics. [LW] Well things that prevent it from being read as literature and you
you sort of you know enunciated it pretty clearly but you actually made a
work of drama out of it the kind that works as––as a piece of
literature on stage and Paul reading the letters up front kind of works right and you
can believe in them as a literary creation so I think for someone whose
language skills are pretty stunted and someone whose pathology was the
inability to speak that the diary is actually pretty expressive [JH] No, I agree
with you I think it’s, well, go ahead [DP] They certainly are, that museum of mad people’s artwork in Lausanne, the repetitive
circle of the diaries themselves and so the kind of attitudes it remains a
document more than anything if you read the diaries next to Dostoevsky
Dostoevsky achieves what Nijinsky can’t which is dramatic irony we know
something the narrator speaking in Diary and in Notes from Underground or Diary of a Madman what am I thinking of, Gogol or Dostoevsky,
[JA] Notes from Underground is good enough. good enough Diary of a Madman–– [DP]
You know he’s going nuts but he doesn’t know where as Nijinsky–– [JA] that’s Diary of a Madman I’m sorry yeah––[DP] and struggles so the book the document
the diary is a very moving as a struggle and this thing happening before our eyes
and happening before his eyes but I think it’s a mistake to make claims for
them that don’t need to be made our interest in them is real and humanity of
them is very real but given the great art he created you know you don’t have
to then try to make them something it’s not [JH] But I do think that you can see certain
quality of the imagination – no you don’t think so? Quality of his mind in them? Because it does relate to the dances a bit [LW] I think
you’re really loading the dice if you compare them to Dostoevsky one of
the greatest writers in our tradition– [DP] No, just that the effect you can get – you know the dramatic irony belongs to the stage not to narrative literature but for Gogol to be
able to give a narrative piece dramatic irony says something to the
consciousness at which he’s working with language Nijinsky doesn’t have that it’s
transcription of experience transcription of emotion he’s a very
powerful and dynamic and intriguing and complex guy all that comes across even
as he’s falling apart but well I don’t want to argue for what’s actually a
semantic or minor point we’re talking about it’s very like one thing I want to
say that remember someone said choreographers are the meanest people on earth. Really terrible people. and you don’t feel that about Nijinsky at all you really don’t.
[JH] you feel a certain what would you say kind of [DP] Art directors are tyrants and you feel that about Diaghilev. [JH] Why do you think that he wrote the letter to Diaghilev? [JA] Oh I’ll take that one
okay [JH] What? [DP] You can’t one up someone who has dumped you. So he’s really trying to sort of explain it, get him back blame him and apologize, say can’t we try again [JH] Don’t you think he’s still in love with
him? [DP] I think he misses–– [JA] No I don’t think he was ever in love with him–– [DP] misses that life, that when he chose Romola over Diaghilev it was artistic suicide. [JH] I agree with that.
[JA] there there are 14 letters in the diary he had a lot of people on his mind I
don’t know whether you’ve ever been sick or had to be in bed for five days
or something like this he was very isolated and there were a lot of people he wanted to like
set it straight and there’s a letter to his mother there’s a letter to a pianist
they said letter to Jean Cocteau a letter to Misia Sert he had a lot of
fish to fry and the letter to Diaghilev is certainly the
most important I think it’s also the longest and and in many ways very
thrilling you heard Paul beautifully handling the word play there that word
play is partly a symptom of schizophrenia clanging the rhyming and
they’re made-up words in there some of the words you didn’t understand reason you
didn’t understand them is that they don’t exist you know but um but other times he’s
doing puns he’s doing he’s doing rhymes that you
don’t understand because the translator has translated the word
so “woodpecker” is not with Nijinsky said he said [gibberish] you know but you see him trying to
get mastery over language and let me add that Diaghilev was one of the most elegant
most well-spoken most he had everything that Nijinsky wanted sophistication education taste you know and Nijinsky did not. [LW] I don’t I would agree
with you Jennifer I don’t see how you can read the letter or hear the letter
and doubt that it’s a love letter a dumped lover’s love letter but to me at least
unequivocally a love letter [DP] Well he’s saying I made a mistake but you made one too but he’s
not sort of saying the things you would say to a lover when you cast aside your
pride and say I can’t go on I miss you how could you throw this away can’t we
try again I see that I made a big mistake with my wife [JH] Oh Darryl is that what you would–– [DP] No but it doesn’t have any of that [JH] He’s more engaged he’s it seems to me it’s the converse [DP] He’s still trying to win] [JH] yeah exactly [DP] He’s still trying to win and they always were two
guys going at it in this kind of S&M way of who’s going to be in control [JH] So that
brings me to a question of the of the sort of presence of sex in these
Diaries in a way that is I’m wondering whether whether there’s also a pull from
earlier Russian traditions I’m thinking of Soloviev and the idea is that
there’s something about sex that is if you if you don’t have it as much you
might be able to actually add to a kind of religious Transfiguration of the
world I mean it sounds to us kind of crazy but they really were thinking like
that when Nijinsky was growing up and when he was
in st. Petersburg and there this was very widely thought about and discussed view so I’m
wondering whether his sort of constant tension and conflict and guilt and
attraction to and I mean you see this in some of the those other literary figures
[JA] Can I say I don’t think it was said that Nijinsky converted in his mind to Tolstoyan
philosophy and which means that he’s practicing vegetarianism vegetarianism
and what he calls marital chastity which did not please his wife who then had an
affair with his doctor um but he said in the letter that that paul
giamatti read that he’s you know he has this very great thorn in his brain over
sex and actually my sense of Nijinsky after very many years is that he was a
person who actually was not that interested in sex, yes and and as Darryl said
it’s pretty clear to me that Nijinsky’s all of Nijinsky’s instincts were
heterosexual he’s been held up he was held up for
many years as a homosexual saint and a martyr to homosexuality but it’s not
true he did what he had to do you know he did we had to do but when he didn’t
have to do when he was free for the afternoon or when he or
when he was having fantasies it was always a woman yes. [DP] Chasing tarts. [JA] Yes, he says that in
Wilson’s play I mean he says that I chased you know I spent many many days
in Paris chasing tarts as it’s translated but he
really did spend a lot of time with prostitutes female prostitutes [LW] I mean I would hesitate over it just because the relationship with Diaghilev seems very clearly to me to be a great romance a very troubled romance
but romance nevertheless [JA] I think you know if I had reason to if I were in
prison or you know I mean he had reason to love Diaghilev and I think Diaghilev must have seemed to him an extremely glamorous character and
Nijinsky was whatever you say his wishes were or he is whatever he was in
fact bisexual I mean you know I do think these things should in the end sort of
be defined by what you’re doing as opposed to what Dr. Freud thinks you are
but– [DP] He wouldn’t have been the only one I mean his mother didn’t think there was
anything unusual about handing him along to the first aristocratic guy who showed up the whole milieu was that way anyways his interest in prostitutes in
Paris was seeking out peers [JA] Yes very good you know there are class things there are
class things going on and Eleonora Nijinsky did not want Nijinsky to get
married at all she needed his financial support and i mean these are people who
are kind of scraping it together [JH] They also infantilized him no? I mean Nijinsky was very he was everything was paid for by
Diaghilev he had no control of his own finances he had no control of salary [JA] He
had no salary either. [JH] he had no way to control what came next or where he was going I
mean really the script was being written his life was being written by by Diaghilev and you do have a sense of a cage there is something caged about him. [JA] Yes that’s how Diaghilev did it yes There are people who only exist when they’re doing their thing and their problem is
how to live once they’re not on stage once they’re not in front of the camera
went about playing or singing and and it was no different for Nijinsky and
his total dependence on Diaghilev answered that it’s just that as a male
he resented sitting there in the restaurants as this kind of silent
object of everyone’s desire. [JA] Yes and also there’s something I’d like to
mention here although we can’t go into it because it’s too big a subject but
you mentioned Baryshnikov I think that Nijinsky’s fame was really–well
it was intense but also was very upsetting
I mean his fame was you know like Baryshnikov’s except in a way worse he
didn’t have a car that he could drive off people came into his dressing room
and stole his underwear [JH] He was shy? [JA] He was an extremely shy man so which should be
perfectly fine why shouldn’t it be but he people wanted to meet him people like
Lytton Strachey people have written about this you know these fancy artistic
people would want to take him out to dinner or have dinner with him and he
would sit there picking his cuticles and looking down at his dinner you know and
they would go off and say oh such an idiot you know but of course he wasn’t he
just wasn’t Bloomsbury the but I think that kind of fame can be very tough he
became and he became not world famous but West famous you know at a very young
age 20 you know I don’t know how they take it Baryshnikov was a little older
when he came when he was although he was a pretty famous man in Russia before he
came but but it was hard for Nijinsky and also don’t forget they’re all looking at
his body you know he’s young man and modest actually [DP] And they want to go to bed with him. [JA] yes that’s right and a lot of them make–– [DP] The world is predatory. [JA] the men
whom he was with or the ones I know about the three men before Diaghilev
they were number one nobility people with a great deal of money they as I
said don’t forget class he he was nobody except they all wanted him okay we’re
going to end there thank you very much for coming thank you
to our panelists and thank you to Paul Giamatti

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