THE NAKED FACE OF GENIUS by Agatha Fassett

THE NAKED FACE OF GENIUS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a poignant and highly personal account of the tragic last years in the life of the great componer, Bela Bartok, uprooted from Hungary by his hatred of Nazism and deposited in an indifferent America. The author, apparently by chance, met at the Bartoks at the home of a mutual friend and she became a fairly close friend of Ditta, his wife, while admiring- if at a greater distance- the aloof, , but compelling man of genius- Bela. She gives a wonderfully intimate picture of the man- as well as the artist, never really reconciled to the loss of his native country, slowly dying of leukemia. Bartok, never easy to live with, only came to life in America when- almost too late- he received recognition from Kouasevitaky, Manu, and others who commissioned his last- and some of his greatest-works.... Miss Fassett has written a very moving book and has managed to bring to life the sense of greatness- with all its paradoxes of pride and humility, withdrawal and intensity- Bartok transmitted to those who knew him. His many admirers- as well as a more general audience- will find that she has achieved a fine portrait of an artist.

Pub Date: April 24th, 1958
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin