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."