Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Gossip

I love to read gossipy books by the people who were there and Diana Vreeland writes some of the best. She had an opinion on everything and knew just about everybody of note. From the late 20s to the 70s, I don't count anything as 'interesting gossip' today, she was interesting.
She met Callas at a Thanksgiving party.
"So she arrived - the greatest actress in the world. She wore black Milanese clothes: her hair which she wore in a pony-tail, was literally this thich; her manners were beautiful, she was very, very, sustained emotionally; she made things very clear emotionally - she was everything you would expect of Callas. We sat down at the table. Then, suddenly.........the veil dropped.
She was as common as mud. I didn't know anyone could be that ordinaire and still know how to use a knife and fork." (How I love that acid drop comment)

Diana then goes to see her perform in La Traviata. (The photo above is Callas in Medea but it was one of Diana's favourite images.)
"She just opened her throat. But I want to tell you that a tenth of a second later I was totally drenched, I mean totally - it had nothing to do with crying or weeping, it was shock. It was total electricity. I had been prepared to hear the most dramatic singer in the world, but this.....and by God, when she died, she was dead. I've never seen such a death scene. On stage she didn't have a gauche thing about her. She was unique."

It explains why she fell for Onassis, he might have had brass but he was also as common as muck.






13 comments:

Andrew said...

What juicy goss. I prefer common as muck rather than mud. I heard something about Marlene Dietrich today that I didn't know. I will get around to writing about it.

The Elephant's Child said...

So with you here. It is probably one of the reasons I love reading diaries, letters and, for preference, autobriographies. I have been having a Mitford binge this year - and if at least one of the Mitford Girls didn't know you - you were no body.

Gerry said...

I'm as common as muck. And I can't abide snobs. Probably for the same reason.

Jayne said...

Love that image of Callas :)

River said...

A superstar on stage, common as muck in real life. That's probably a good thing. She can go supermarket shopping for mundane things without being mobbed by adoring fans. People might whisper and say "she looks just like...", but they'll leave her alone because she's just like the rest of us.
It's a handy skill, being able to fade into the background.

JahTeh said...

Andrew, I picked up a copy of The Diaries of Chips Channon in a sale and I can't tell you how many times I've read it. They were edited before publication which takes a lot of the fun away but any body writing about the 30s quotes Chips.

EC, I bought "Wait for Me" but found it a bit boring, other books on the Mitfords are juicier. Try reading about the Curzon sisters, another pack of English eccentrics.

But Bear, we're Australian and common as muck is a badge of honour. Being snobbish here just means more muck on your boots.

Jayne, I heard her speak on playing Medea and it was her opinion that she killed her sons not out of jealous rage against the husband pissing off to marry up but saving them from being killed by him in order to have the next lot of his kids inherit the throne.
I liked Medea's idea of sending a poisoned wedding dress to the bride, a woman after my own heart.

River, how many times have you heard someone say, he/she is shorter than I thought after watching on screen then meeting in real life. Never meet your idols is the lesson.

BaliMoz said...

We as a human really to to gossip..

Middle Child said...

Love it - my eldest Melissa has books on all the old stars and knows all the gossip - its like she came from the 1950's - sadly missed me - more of a peasant

JahTeh said...

Therese, not a peasant just an old trippy hippy.

R.H. said...

Hi, my name is Robert, my father was a drunk.

I'm puzzled why Onassis wanted to marry her, except maybe he liked opera.

R.H. said...

Wv was epidess. Sounds Greek (to an uncultured mind).

JahTeh said...

Robbert, he didn't want to marry her, just control her and besides he was already married and even when divorced he wouldn't marry her by then he had his eyes on Jackie Kennedy after having his paws all over her sister, Lee. After all that Callas still worshipped him.

Ann O'Dyne said...

I would kill for her eyebrows ...