Saturday, September 17, 2022

"Beloved..."

After reading the comments about Daydreams and Natacha's involvement in the writing of the poetry, I went back and read this letter in The True Rudolph Valentino by Baltasar Cué. This is one of the letters Rudolph Valentino gave to Cué to use in writing what was to be a true autobiography.

In the letter I excerpt, Natacha writes to Rudolph about the poems and includes a story she feels would be inspirational. As the anecdote she shares is lengthy, I will only share the opening of the letter. As I said, until I read this letter I believed Rudolph did not write the poems. I was impressed to learn he did; if not all of them... some or most.

From page 82, Natacha writes to her "beloved"...

"Beloved,

I received your poems last night. According to what I telegraphed you today, I think they are good. Actually, very good and to be commended even if they lack in that something in which you shine.

With them, we should go far; so it seems better to wait, another eight or ten days, for a few others with better themes in order to present them as advantageously as possible. "The Fickle Boat" is really splendid, but the others, although good, are not extraordinary enough to serve as samples.

We need some with more fantastical imagination, some passionate, some whose value lies more in the plot and others which are more oriental. Do not forget the idea which the public has formed of you and which should guide us; this being the unusual and something useful for a few out of the ordinary illustrations.

This volume must be very rare and exceptional as well as appealing to the general public. Do you remember the story which I once told you; the one about women-orchids? I think it would serve to make a fascinating poem with a wonderful opportunity for an unconventional illustration....”

Natacha then proceeds to share her story of the women-orchids. I find her advice about the project insightful and loving. It was a good time for them as a collaborating couple and the Cué letters are so very valuable for this reason.

As always thank you to Renato for giving us this translation.

Below another Instagram graphic from a few years back... the collaborating couple hit the high seas! 



8 comments:

  1. I love the story of the women-orchids. I think it would have been a great script for the Valentinos.

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    1. 5:12: Oh it would have been and maybe Natacha was already daydreaming about her designer's visions about sets and costumes. What a treasure to have these letters and the Cue narrative; honest, first-hand testimonies of those who were actually there are so rare and insightful. Cue's interviews with Pola Negri and Alberto are riveting for me. Nothing like the account of Cue meeting Alberto in the Ambassador Hotel gardens to then knock on Pola Negri's bungalow door. I also learned that Alberto lived in the Gaylord Apartments in LA at one point. A member of our family lived their recently and it is a fascinating old Hollywood building. It is too bad they do not have more of an historical archive. Rumor is it is haunted by all the stars, or some of them, who once lived there.

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    2. It shows how talented Natasha was, j could see how easy it was for Rudy to have fallen in love with her. So artistic no wonder Michael Morris was infatuated with her as well.

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    3. I have been to the Gaylord Apartment Building. There is a lot of character there! I expect it to be demolished soon, since Hollywood has no sense of its own history.

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    4. 2:39: I doubt it will be demolished soon because they have just redone the apartments and upgraded it to a great degree. But I am sure at one point it will go and you are so right about the lack of interest in the history of the Gaylord. I inquired there and they only went back to the 40's. And no record of which apartments belong to which star... and it would have been interesting to know which apartment Alberto lived in. The best thing about that building imo is the restaurant next door called "The Bounty". They make a great Mai Tai.

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  2. Where do I find the story of the women orchids?

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    1. Hi Maggie: It is included in The True Rudolph Valentino by Baltazar Cue on pp.83-85.

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