YOUR ""ISADORA"": The Love Story of Isadora Duncan and Gordon Craig Told Through Letters and Diaries Never Before Published by Francis -- Ed. Steegmuller
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YOUR ""ISADORA"": The Love Story of Isadora Duncan and Gordon Craig Told Through Letters and Diaries Never Before Published

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Isadora and Craig were overlarge, dazzling beings, in their own eyes as well as others'. From the vantage of scarlet middle age she would recall herself as ""a soul that had reached the light and found the whiteness"" -- and so she was when they met in Berlin in 1904. E. Gordon Craig, the son of Ellen Terry (inheritor of that famous smile), was a self-proclaimed theatrical genius who could prove it when he deigned to do so, and who, like Isadora, although in a very different way, refused to be held back by the hitch of ordinary responsibility. He had already salted the continent with bastards; her one prior affair was an orgy of erotic idealism that could have equalled all of his in intensity. What they recognized in each other -- with a shock that both attest -- was the possibility of total actualization, of reconciling and realizing extreme potentials for love and work: they were cut to take one another's measure. Isadora's decline from grace dates from approximately this period; Craig escaped to survive, hale and intransigent, into his nineties; their child died; and their memoirs, hers generously vague, his calculated, offer nothing more specific than character to account for their divergent destinies. The truth of that explanation is both more ironic and more devastating than could have been supposed as Steegmuller reconstructs their story from hundreds of Duncan's unpublished letters and the obsessively revising commentaries that Craig continued to write all his life, as well as other related materials. Steegmuller's editing is superb, involved, revealing their melodrama as a tragedy of egos. Craig's conceit was to overvalue his gifts, Isadora's to overestimate her capacity.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1974
Publisher: Random House