I Wish You Love: Conversations with Marlene Dietrich

I Wish You Love: Conversations with Marlene Dietrich

by Eryk Hanut
     
 

A unique blend of memoir and literary portraiture, I Wish You Love: Conversations with Marlene Dietrich is a moving account of the author's remarkable friendship with one of Hollywood's greatest legends. As a young man living in Paris in the 1980s, Eryk Hanut on a whim wrote the by-then reclusive Dietrich after seeing her films and hearing her songs. To his surprise,… See more details below

Overview

A unique blend of memoir and literary portraiture, I Wish You Love: Conversations with Marlene Dietrich is a moving account of the author's remarkable friendship with one of Hollywood's greatest legends. As a young man living in Paris in the 1980s, Eryk Hanut on a whim wrote the by-then reclusive Dietrich after seeing her films and hearing her songs. To his surprise, she telephoned him a few days later, ushering in a surprisingly intimate friendship that encompassed the last years of her life. In their frequent conversations, Dietrich shared her thoughts on a wide range of topics - from art and literature to haute couture, her film and singing career, her striking persona and image, Hollywood, and the epochal events of the twentieth century through which she had lived. Dietrich reveals herself as a woman of wisdom, wit, and acute sensitivity, offering insights into life, love, and loneliness. I Wish You Love is an affectionate portrait of this enigmatic, legendary figure, and a moving record of an extraordinary friendship. I Wish You Love features twenty-two evocative black-and-white photographs of the many faces of Dietrich by the great Hollywood glamour photographers, from the author's personal collection and autographed in Dietrich's distinctive hand.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
This first book by Danish-born, Paris-raised photographer Hanut describes his telephonic friendship with Dietrich over the last few years of her life.

Hanut recalls that he first saw Dietrich at one of her stage performances when he was only eight years old. He was terrified by this commanding presence in furs, and his fears were only slightly assuaged when she came over later to speak to his aunt, another film actress, at a postshow gathering. Many years later he wrote to her on a whim, thereby engendering a series of phone conversations that are the raison d`être of this slender volume. Much of the book's first half is taken up with Hanut's rather overwrought narrative of his own depressing childhood and youth: abusive father; both parents killed in an auto wreck; raised by a dotty celebrity aunt; drugs, booze, living on the bum across Europe. He never met Marlene in person, but seems to have enjoyed rare confidences from her during their long chats. Their conversations, as recounted herein, range over a wide assortment of topics, touching only briefly on her film career, but dwelling at length on her philosophy of life, her love of Paris, her distaste for America and its culture, her devotion to the poetry of Rilke. The Dietrich that emerges from this book shows flashes of the scathing wit that was one of her cinematic trademarks, as in a series of derisive remarks about Monaco's Princess Stephanie. Most of the time, however, she deals in rather pretentious aperçus of a purportedly philosophical nature on such high-flown subjects as love and friendship. In that respect she is an accurate reflection of the author, who once sent her a copy of Gibran's verse.

The book reeks of sincerity. In describing his initial letter to Dietrich, the author calls it "a monument of touching imbecility." The same may be said of the book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781883319472
Publisher:
North Atlantic Books
Publication date:
10/06/1995
Pages:
138
Product dimensions:
7.21(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.68(d)

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