Friday, June 24, 2022

"An Eloquence of Silence"

I think the following passage is one of the most insightful pieces on Natacha Rambova. Journalist and friend, Herb Howe interviews Natacha in her successful dress shop in New York in 1929. I included the entire article in Astral Affairs Rambova and we also included it in The Rudolph Valentino Case Files. I highly recommend the entire article as the bottom line on the Valentino marriage.

I excerpt pp. 214-215 from, Astral Affairs Rambova, “Her Years as Valentino's Wife, Why Natacha Rambova's Marriage to the Greatest of Screen Idols came to a Tragic End”, By Herb Howe, published in, The New Movie Magazine, December 1929-May 1930.

Even her worst enemy has admitted the genius of Natacha, that unquenchable flame of ambition that sweeps out from her ruthlessly to combat Hollywood and its intrigues implacable instinct, a fighting' spirit of Amazonian fierceness. Yet, for all her electric vitality, I think Natacha's spirit is a little weary. Very young, she has witnessed with shrewd eyes the mockery of the world's spectacle, and from the highest throne of idolatry this age has known, she has experienced its sharp irony.

I recalled the days I spent in her apartment collaborating with Rudy on his life story. Because of some legal technicality pertaining to his divorce from Jean Acker, he and Natacha were forced to maintain separate apartments for several months after their marriage in Mexico, but of course Rudy spent most of the time in Natacha's.

There was a moment of constraint as Natacha and I set down on the divan. To break it, I referred to the hours spent on his life story. 

"Now we ought to do your life," I said. "But I guess all your real names have been told." 

"Yes, and I've been called a lot of names that weren't mine," laughed Natacha. "No, I'm here to tell you right now that I don't give a hang for publicity. God knows there has been too much for me already. I've been called everything from Messalina to a dope-fiend."

 "Did you feel it much?" 

"I was tortured. I was tortured to agony," she said. 

Her eyes met mine in an eloquence of silence. In that minute the interval of years passed by. I felt certain I knew her as I hadn't before. She turned the poignancy of the revelation with a quick laugh.

I always loved the laughter of Natacha. It is clear and gay. And it can shield a multitude of sorrows with its courage. 

"They even said I have no sense of humor!" Her laugh mounted. "That's equivalent to saying I am dead. Without it, I would have been, long ago."


12 comments:

  1. I have been extremely judicious in referencing fan magazines and in Affairs Valentino I cited perhaps one or two. I have been in receipt on this post of some slamming on my citing this passage from a magazine. I say this to the defamer.

    I took a few moments counting the cited fan magazine references in Dark Lover, the book they continually compare to Affairs Valentino. I found forty in just the first four chapter's references. So is this the “Gold Standard” you speak of? How could that be if you are so outraged at me for citing so very few. I will also point out that just now as I was counting I noticed how many references Ms. Leider made to “My Life Story” and the reprint of the “My Private Diary”; fan magazine copy 100%.

    Your defamatory comments sent in on this post are hypocritical and obvious. Maybe you want to turn your defamatory insults about referencing a fan magazine in the direction of Dark Lover as the infraction you find so offensive is much more grievous there.

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  2. I do not understand why the uproar about Evelyn not using fan magazine articles. I feel that by digging through documents and archives she has found more solid and interesting facts about Valentino than the old tired studio based lies. She wrote the truth the way that she saw it. As for those claiming that Dark Lover is the life of Rudy even Self said that it was the same old stories. Stubborn people who do not want to face what Evelyn wrote.Who are obsessed with Valentino. That is disturbing. I admit that are things about Rudy that I did not admire, but I look at his other side as well, he was kind and generous. I believe that people who want their truth are narrow minded people.IMO

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  3. As to the defamers exactly what do they hope to accomplish, some people are beginning to figure out what is going on. Same old arguments, same old stories. People can think for themselves.

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    1. I think those people who send in comments to insult, defame and disturb consistently need to go away. Why camp on a blog when they disagree with every single word I write?

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    2. If I posted a photo of my dog, they would send in comments hating the dog, the camera that took the photo, maybe even the dog food my puppy eats. It is not about different opinions, it is about endless malicious motivation.

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    3. Some people have nothing to do but give negative comments about everything. Sad actually. Miserable people indeed.

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  4. The Gold Standard is Evelyn's book.

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  5. Loved the article on Natasha.

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    1. I found the article very candid and interesting as she granted the interview a few years after Rudy's death. Her perspective was insightful.

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  6. The blatant stupidity of those shallow miscreants who extol Dark Lover as the definitive biography is again on display. Leider's book relied heavily on fan magazine interviews and gossip, while Ms. Zumaya's Affairs Valentino mainly depended on legal court documents and manuscripts from very credible sources. What more evidence do you need of the scarcity of brain power from the VSC?

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