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 through the good conflict. Kessler’s immersion within the new paintings and literature of Paris, London, and Berlin unfolds within the first a part of the diaries. This subtle international offers option to shiny descriptions of the terrible scuffling with at the jap and Western fronts of worldwide conflict I, the exciting inner most discussions one of the German political and army elite concerning the development of the conflict, in addition to Kessler’s account of his function as a diplomat with a mystery venture 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 a number of the best artists and writers of the day. In 1903 he turned director of the Grand Ducal Museum of Arts and Crafts in Weimar, made up our minds to make it a middle of aesthetic modernism along with his buddy the architect Henry van de Velde, whose college of layout may ultimately turn into the Bauhaus. whilst a public scandal pressured his resignation in 1906, Kessler became to different initiatives, together with participating 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 means of the Ballets Russes in London and Paris. In 1913 he based the Cranach-Presse in Weimar, some of the most very important deepest presses of the 20 th century.
The diaries current superb, sharply etched, and infrequently richly comical descriptions of his encounters, conversations, and artistic collaborations with 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 risky and seminal moments in glossy Western heritage.