Book info

Coco Chanel & Igor Strawinsky (2010)

Coco Chanel & Igor Strawinsky (2010)
Rating
3.14 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
3570580199 (ISBN13: 9783570580196)
languge
English
genre
publisher
Bertelsmann
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Coco Chanel & Igor Strawinsky (2010)
Coco Chanel & Igor Strawinsky (2010)

About book: "Stravinsky was reputed to have been a philanderer, rumored to have had affairs with high-profile partners such as Coco Chanel. Stravinsky never referred to such an affair himself, but Chanel spoke about it at length to her biographer Paul Morand in 1946, and the conversation was published 30 years later.[37] The accuracy of Chanel's claims have been disputed by Stravinsky's widow Vera and his amanuensis Robert Craft, beginning two years after the publication of Morand's biography, even while conceding the existence of the affair itself.[38] The Chanel fashion house states that the affair between Coco and Igor should be viewed as fiction as there was no proof.[39]" (Wikipedia entry on Stravinsky)So, even taken as fiction, I still found this a quiet, poetic, interesting look at how an affair unfolded between two creative geniuses at a critical shifting point of the 20th century. The implication is that they were mutually drawn to each other and that they each (perhaps) inspired a small creative burst in the other. Most readers will probably weigh the cost/benefit of the relationship and it certainly bears discussing. In true history, his later affair with Vera, is probably much more worth discussing. Her being Coco Chanel ramps this brief, potential affair up considerably in its interest to the general population.The characters of Igor, Coco, and Catherine are well-enough fleshed out, enough back history is presented to give one a sense of how they arrived where they are. Catherine emerges in admirable strength towards the end of the novel. Coco and Igor remain somewhat enigmatic to me - they both seem similarly flawed in their abilities to make true human connections. Probably part of what drew them together but interfered with forming a lasting relationship. They also seemed to lack respect for each other - he denigrates her creative genius calling her a shopkeeper, not an artist. He enters her life in a position of needing her financial support - she seems to accept his genius without being truly impressed by him as a man. I found this an excellent example of how a relationship that feels so compelling, electric, and inevitable can so quickly fade and sputter to it's end. The primary point of interest to me remains weighing the cost such a relationship can have on all involved measured against any perceived benefits. This is not an overtly moralistic tale, but it still reads like a cautionary one.Greenhalgh's style has been debated: I found it fascinating. In some ways it did read like a screenplay, but I didn't mind his approach. Many of the reader reviews say this book is badly written, but I couldn't disagree more. The book balances scene and summary nicely; the scenes are well dramatized, and the summary is dense, lyrical, figurative. I'm not surprised to learn that the author is also a poet. As for the "likeability" of the characters, well, artists of this caliber *are* generally sort of assholes--ambitious, selfish, self-absorbed--and that is the point of the story, I think. It's fascinating to watch these two iconic individuals fall in love and the wreckage they leave behind. The only thing I'd pose as a fault would be the anti-climactic end, but then again, the book is true to the facts of their relationship, so what's the writer to do? All in all, I think this book deserves a wider audience.
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Reviews
Nia
This book was pretty good. I've been on a Chanel kick so the timing was just right for me.
DJNaNoPR
Interesting ... But really had a hard time keeping focused with the tale.
craver
Read this one because my mother recommended it. Nothing special.
Maylied
Sharp; sad; lovable.
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