Letter From the Editor
A NOTE TO OUR READERS AND VISITORS TO THIS SITE
On June 28, 1914, one hundred years ago today, the heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and his wife, were assassinated in Sarajevo, the chief city of Bosnia. It was that act that touched off World War I, which began one month later – July 28, 1914 – when Austria declared war on Serbia, whom the Austrians considered to be complicit in the archduke’s death. All together, about seventeen million people – men, women, and children – died in that conflict. On July 28 of this year, 2014, NYCAesthetic will present a series of poems, one by each of the English-language poets who died in the war, to commemorate that tragedy. We hope you will visit the site on that day to read this extraordinary group of poems.
In the meantime, and in memory of the act that touched off the war exactly one hundred years ago today, NYCAesthetic presents the following passage from Frank Bidart’s book, “In the Western Night.”
T.S., literary editor,
Nijinsky invited guests to a recital at the Suvretta House Hotel.
When the audience was seated, he picked up a chair, sat down on it, and stared at them. Half an hour passed. Then he took a few rolls of black and white velvet and made a big cross the length of the room. He stood at the head of it, his arms opened wide. He said: “Now, I will dance you the War, which you did not prevent and for which you are responsible.” His dance reflected battle, horror, catastrophe, apocalypse. An observer wrote: “At the end, we were too much overwhelmed to applaud. We were looking at a corpse, and our silence was the silence that enfolds the dead.”
There was a collection for the Red Cross. Tea was served. Nijinsky never again performed in public.