The Young and the Doomed

1 Jul

 

“After some exploration, they tracked down a rerun of The Young and the Doomed (1890) to a tiny theater that specialized in Painted Westerns (as those deserts of nonart used to be called). Thus had Mlle Lariviere’s Enfants Maudits (1887) finally degenerated! She had has two adolescents , in a French castle, poison their widowed mother who had seduced a young neighbor, the lover of one of her twins. The author had made many concessions to the freedom of the times, and the foul fancy of scriptwriters; both she and the leading lady disavowed the final result of multiple tamperings with the plot that had now become the story of a murder in Arizona, the victim being a widower about to marry an alcoholic prostitute, whom Marina, quite sensibly, refused to impersonate…the whole matter secretly nauseated Van…for him the written word existed only in its abstract purity, in its unrepeatable appeal to an equally ideal mind. It belonged solely to its creator and could not be spoken or enacted by a mime (as Ada insisted) without letting the deadly stab of another’s mind destroy the artist in the very lair of his art.” Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov.

 

Dona Maria Barcelo, courtesy of pokerplayernewspaper.com

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