Thursday, October 31, 2013

Castillon and Rilke to Russia with Madame Salome

1903 Confesses to feelings of deep depression and despair. Meets a Louisa Salomon, a lady of Russian origin who has studied the new psychoanalytic techniques in Vienna under Wilhelm Stekel a member of Sigmund Freud's inner circle. She puts him through a course of therapy with beneficial results. Salomon is a rich and emancipated woman (she is married to a certain Alois Andersson a German linguist proficient in Oriental languages then teaching at the Ottoman Imperial Military Academy in Constantinople but theirs is an "open marriage") who all her life has had a close relationship with artists, writers, musicians, philosophers a sort of intellectual groupie one could say although that would not do justice I think to lady's own intellectual capabilities. May he is invited by her to take part in a tour of Russia together with R an upcoming poet,an Austrian living in Paris, E a French doctor and mage and C an English initiate of the Golden Dawn. They declare their interests - Salomon, sex and religion (especially the Khlysty and Skoptsy); R, meetings with Russian poets and artists and hopes to visit the aging Tolstoy (he is writing articles on the history of icon painting); E, shamanism, thaumaturgy;C, qabbalah. R the poet seems to have taken Salomon as his muse, she seems to be a mother figure to him. Sadly there is no more diary terminates abruptly on the eve of their departure due to mutilation i.e. pages torn out. From "Irmine"; "As for other names, I've not yet had chance to think about them, but I'll let you know if I come up with anything. Edit - PS The poet R has got to be Rilke". Can you guess who "C" might be? Some researchers think that the character "C" refers to Aliester Crowley who was known to have spent time in Russia and to have written a treatise on the Kabbalah in the following years. What a group, the mystic lady, the dashing writer, our Rodrigo, the poet Rilke, and Crowley. The Castillon diary abruptly ends here on the eve of their departure with pages ripped out. We can only imagine Castillon`s reaction to Crowley and what happened on their journey, if they went. Perhaps he did not want his diary to include this interlude. (Castillon uses the Jewish form of Louisa`s name "Salomon"). Photo: Rainer Maria Rilke, Lou Andreas-Salomé, and the Russian peasant poet Spiridon Drozhzhin in Moscow, 1900. "One can sense the poet behind them, the vibrancy of Rilke`s inspirations, and his great love of Russia, which he called his “spiritual motherland.”Rilke’s keen interest in Russia was first planted in him by his friend, the Russian-born author, Lou Andreas-Salomé (née Louise von Salomé or, in Russian, Luiza Gustavovna Salomé). He first met her in 1896, when he was 21, they were lovers for several years, and she remained his confidante and an influence on him for the rest of his life. She began teaching him Russian in the late 1890s so that he could read Pushkin and Tolstoy in the original. In April-June 1899 Rilke, in the company of Salomé and her husband Friedrich Carl Andreas, made his first visit to Russia. In the six weeks that he spent in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Rilke met several major cultural figures including Leo Tolstoy, the artists Ilya Repin and Leonid Pasternak (the poet Boris Pasternak’s father), and the sculptor Pavel Trubetskoy (Paolo Troubetzkoy). On his second and more extensive trip to the Russian Empire, with Salomé, from May through August 1900, Rilke’s travels followed a far-flung itinerary: Moscow, Tula, Leo Tolstoy’s estate at Yasnaya Polyana, Kiev, Kremenchug, Poltava, Kharkov, Voronezh, Saratov, Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk), Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl, and Moscow again." Lou Andreas-Salomé was a Russian-born psychoanalyst and author. Her diverse intellectual interests led to friendships with a broad array of distinguished western thinkers, including Nietzsche, Freud, and Rilke. Photo of Rilke and Lou Andreas Salome among friends. Lou Andreas-Salomé and her husband Friedrich Carl Andreas (1886). "Working with the Manichean fragments from Turfan, he quickly isolated those texts written in Parthian (which he called the “northern dialect”) and identified another “Pahlavi dialect” as the Sogdian language. Even when his ideas were later modified, they proved important starting-points for research; this is particularly true of the hotly debated “Andreas Theory” (see below). In an equally sharp controversy concerning an alleged Iranian “salvation mystery” Andreas took no personal position, but his translations of the Manichean Turfan fragments provided part of the basis for discussion."