06 May 2011

Want To Buy Some Illusions?

Some interesting Dietrich-related auctions are currently on ebay. One seller has many old wirephotos, including the the photo above, taken at the Blue Angel nightclub in 1961.

If you're feeling flush, there are two letters (with optimistic price tags) written to Charles Graves: the first, written in the mid 1950s on Dorchester stationary is a defense of Kenneth Tynan:

“Dear Charles, Isn’t it too sad that almost every time I come here
something happens that makes things uncomfortable between you and me....The idea of quoting London reviews came because of the rare event that critics wrote
about a cabaret act at all - and that the reviews contained so many unusual
comments....Do you think your last remark would smear him in my eyes? He is an
interesting and intelligent critic. That’s all I know and all I care to

In 1959 she writes about stories for a possible TV series,

“Dearest,...First I cannot use stories with a central character of the
Maigret type. The hero must not be Mr. Fix-It. The hero must be in trouble and
the suspense of the story must be: Is he going to get out of it or not. Instead
of: We know he is going to get out of it but how. We are snowed under here with
Perry Mason - type of series....Second, I have a radio show called: M.D. Talks
on Love and Life. It is a lovelorn kind of program but I also do songs they ask
for and talk about my war experiences, read poems...”

The seller also has a copy of the 1962 edition of Marlene Dietrich's ABC, (signed by Marlene in the 80s); another seller has a copy of the limited edition signed reprint.

1 comment:

  1. Kenneth Tynan was to Marlene Dietrich what Camille Paglia is to Madonna. Both critics have aggrandized these entertainers within academic circles for their unorthodox visual portrayals of gender. On the other hand, both writers have gleefully partaken in tabloid-style gossip regarding these celebs. Those familiar with Tynan may remember that he characterized Dietrich's persona as "sex without gender," yet he also retold the JFK quickie tale in graphic detail (see my comment). Camille Paglia once called Madonna "the future of feminism"--a declaration she still defends--yet she chit-chats about Madonna's plastic surgery and trysts with Alex Rodriguez. I wish more writers shared Tynan and Paglia's sensibilities, with one foot in the salon and one foot in the pub.