Hey loyal folks!
Welcome back to my 18th page of WordPress.com Health Blog to which I have given the title “A Journey Round my Skull – 2 ” since it is a continuation of / sequel to my previous 17th WordPress.com page Title: “A Journey Round my Skull – 1”.
Grieved as Karinthy was at his Hungary being vivisected by powers that were at different times, he could find solace in meeting like-minded people – writers, thinkers,activists etc., in a Budapest café named Central cafe. This is where he wrote many of his books including “A Journey (/Trip) Round My Skull” (You may find it rewarding to visit http://www.budapestbylocals.com/historic-budapest-coffee-houses.html” which has a nice photograph of the Central Cafe of Budapest).
Again Karinthy was in good company of many other famous pepople who conceptualised and wrote their world-famous works in many other cafes around the world. Such Favourite Retreats of Famous Writers include:
1. Cafe Central in Vienna, Austria which attracted celebrities like Leon Trotsky aka Lev Davidovich Bronstein, the once-heir-apparent of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, alias Lenin, the Russian communist revolutionary – “Big Brother” of USSR; Trotsky was brutally eliminated by Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin in a bitter power struggle – ultimately assassinated on Stalin’s orders, in the far-away exile in Mexico in August 1940 by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born Soviet agent;
2. La Rotonde, Paris which had, as its regulars, artists and writers such as Pablo Picasso. T.S. Elliott, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway and, among others,
3. Literary Café (Literaturnoe Kafe) in St. Petersburg which played host to many famous people including the Russian writers Dostoevsky and Chernyshevsky and Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837),the greatest-ever Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be not only the greatest Russian poet but also the founder of modern Russian literature.; sadly Literary Café was also the site of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin’s final meal in 1837, before dying in a duel.Pushkin, who, after innumerable amorous escapades and even duels, was lucky to marry, in 1931, 19 years old Nataliya Nikolaevna Goncharova (1812 – 1863) (whom Pushkin called not only his 113th love but also his Madonna!) who, at the age of 16, was one of the most talked-about beauties of Moscow and touted as a prototype of Anna Karenina, the most beautiful heroine of Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910)’s pinnacle in realist fiction, Anna Karenina, declared by the Time Magazine “greatest book ever written.”; it was even said that Pushkin’s admission to the Tsar’s court was not on his own merits but solely so that his beautiful wife, who had many admirers including the Russian Emperor, Nicholas I Николай I Павлович Tsar himself, could properly attend the Tsar’s court balls and provide a visual treat to the “rape-eyed” Tsar and other courtiers! Pushkin – Nataliya couple had four children, of whom the first Maria (b. 1832), was also suggested as a prototype of Anna Karenina – just like her mother!). But Nataliya did not understand Pushkin’s greatness and failed to take an appropriate interest in his art. It does seem that she preferred worldly pleasures to his company, though to some extent she was obliged to socialise separately from him; for example, even during her pregnancies, she often had to chaperone her sisters in the court, since there was no-one else to do so, and only by going into society could they find husbands. Nataliya’s constant demands for money for costly dresses and jewellery forced Pushkin to write increasingly for money rather than for pleasure. Then fate intervened in their lives in the form of Nataliya’s brother in-law Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d’Anthès (1812-1895), himself a French diplomat whose meetings with Natalya started a society gossip that he was in pursuit of Natalya and Natalya reciprocated; Just to to contradict the above-mentioned society gossip D’Anthès got engaged to and married Natalya’s sister, Yekaterina Nikolaevna Goncharova (1809-1843), on January 10, 1837. But Pushkin’s jealousy did not get quenched – after all as, Antisthenis (c.445 – c.365 B.C.), a pupil of Socrates (470/460 – 399 BC), ((the classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy)), put it “As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion” (Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes); Pushkin’s burning jealousy made him write an insulting letter to d’Anthès’ adoptive father. Since Pushkin refused to withdraw these abuses, a duel became inevitable. On the evening of January 27, 1837, d’Anthès fired first, mortally wounding Pushkin in the stomach. Pushkin, who had fought already twenty-eight duels in his life, managed to rise and shoot at d’Anthès, but only wounded him lightly in the right arm.
Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin died as a result of this duel on January 29, 1837.
Having said RIP to Alexander Pushkin above, I cannot help recalling another of history’s probably greatest sword duel involving the great Danish Astronomer, Astrologer and Alchemist Tyge Ottesen Brahe (1546 – 1601 AD), (known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations and said to own one percent of the entire wealth of Denmark at one point in the 1580s – his 30s) and a fellow Danish nobleman (and his third cousin), Manderup Parsberg, triggered by a quarrel over the legitimacy of a mathematical formula! The duel resulted in Tycho losing the bridge of his nose. From this event Tycho became interested in medicine and alchemy and for the rest of his life, he was said to have worn different nose prosthetics for different occasions – a nose-replacement made of silver /gold / copper / brass, using a paste or glue to keep it attached!
Hey, maybe, I should stop this (romantic / scandalous / ?Obscene page here and continue with Karinthy in the next – my 19th – WordPress.com page titled “A Journey Round my Skull – 3”.
So long then, Folks! Stay tuned!