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Intimate Letters

Intimate Letters: Leos Janacek to Kamila Stosslova

edited and translated by John Tyrrell
Copyright Date: 1994
Pages: 432
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  • Book Info
    Intimate Letters
    Book Description:

    These are the letters of a great love story. In 1917, the Czech composer Leos JanáÃ"çek met Kamila Stösslová while on holiday at LuhaÃ"çovice, a spa resort in Moravia. He was sixty-three and locked in a loveless marriage; she was twenty-six, the wife of an antique dealer frequently away from home. After the holiday, JanáÃ"çek began writing to Stösslová. Undeterred by her lack of interest in his work and her spasmodic replies, he continued to send her letters until his death eleven years later. An extraordinarily self-revealing portrait emerges of an isolated artist at the height of his creative powers and the beginning of his international fame. It is also a portrait of a lonely man who, as the years went by, came to fantasize about Stösslová as his true "wife"--the inspiration for many of the works of his old age.

    Most of these letters were suppressed until changing conditions in Czechoslovakia allowed their full publication in 1990. John Tyrrell has edited and translated a comprehensive selection, concentrating on the almost daily letters of the final eighteen months. Supported by a diary of meetings between JanáÃ"çek and Stösslová, a decoding of the erotic references in the letters, and a selection of mostly unknown photographs, this remarkable book breathes life into the story one of the greatest of operatic composers and provides vital clues to the nature of his creative genius.

    Originally published in 1994.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6368-6
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Plates
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface and Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. Map of Bohemia and Moravia in 1918
    (pp. xvii-xvii)
  6. Map of Janáček’s Railway Journeys
    (pp. xviii-xviii)

  8. Epilogue
    (pp. 341-344)

    On 1 July the master went to Luhačovice. When he returned after three weeks he seemed a broken man. During that time he had lost seven¹ kilos, he told us that was perhaps because he had kept to a vegetarian diet. We kept looking at him barely dragging himself round the garden; once the mistress couldn’t resist it and told him not to gamble with his health so. I don’t know how it occurred to her to add:

    ‘One day you’ll get pneumonia and then it will be the end.’

    He just went on nodding his head and said quietly:...

  9. Glossary of Names, Places, Works and Topics
    (pp. 345-364)
  10. Diary of Meetings
    (pp. 365-368)

    • APPENDIX 1: The History of Janáček’s Letters to Kamila Stösslová
      (pp. 371-373)
    • APPENDIX 2: Civil Court in Brno: Janáček v. Janáčková, no. 3 Nc 393/28, praes. 9 September 1928
      (pp. 374-377)
  12. Note on Sources
    (pp. 378-378)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 379-383)
  14. General Index
    (pp. 384-394)
  15. Index of Janáčcek’s Works
    (pp. 395-397)