Those attention-grabbing, 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 global poised to be replaced irrevocably by way of 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 sophisticated international supplies approach to brilliant descriptions of the bad scuffling with at the japanese and Western fronts of worldwide warfare I, the fascinating deepest discussions one of the German political and army elite in regards to the development of the battle, in addition to Kessler’s account of his position as a diplomat with a mystery venture in Switzerland.
Profoundly smooth and sometimes 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 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 with his good friend the architect Henry van de Velde, whose university of layout could finally turn into the Bauhaus. whilst a public scandal compelled his resignation in 1906, Kessler became to different initiatives, 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 via the Ballets Russes in London and Paris. In 1913 he based the Cranach-Presse in Weimar, probably the most vital inner most presses of the 20th century.
The diaries current very good, sharply etched, and infrequently richly comical descriptions of his encounters, conversations, and artistic collaborations with probably 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 checklist of 1 of the main risky and seminal moments in smooth Western heritage.