Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Falling under the influence of Alma Mahler


'That which today calls itself art is just an iridescent blob of fat floating on capitalist broth.'
No, not a comment on yesterday's Jubilee concert in London, but Franz Werfel speaking in 1918 during a lecture tour of Switzerland. At the time the Austrian-Bohemian author was embarking on an affair with Alma Mahler, who was then married to Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. Alma and Franz Werfel later married; they are seen above in America where they lived off the capitalist broth after Werfel's novel The Song of Bernadette was turned into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. In an interview with Werfel's biographer Peter Stephan Jungk, the sculptress Anna Mahler, who was the daughter of Gustav and Alma, quotes her mother as saying that Walter Gropius "was so boring". In the same interview Anna says about Franz Werfel:
'I don't know, maybe it wasn't all that good for him to fall under Mammi's influence. She made him into a novelist , that's for sure. Without her - I'm pretty sure of this - he would have remained a poet and a bohemian to the end of his life.'
More on music's unmerry widows here.

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1 comment:

Frankie Perry said...

Interesting - she does deserve at least some good press, I think. Here's my blog post on her from a few months ago, if you're interested: http://www.mahlermahlermahler.blogspot.co.uk/#!http://mahlermahlermahler.blogspot.com/2012/03/alma-tell-us.html