Author Topic: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc  (Read 79924 times)

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Offline emeraldeyes

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2006, 06:50:39 PM »
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; whatever its shortcomings may be, I think it is an interesting look at life in Russia at the time.  
An intelligent Hell would be better than a stupid paradise.  - Victor Hugo


Offline Linnea

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2006, 04:04:32 AM »
Quote
No, it are not the same books. Lost Splendor is Felix' autobiography, (but the Rasputin murder of course plays a big part in this as well). "Lost Splendor" consists of two parts, the first about Felix' life in Russia and the second one about his time in exile. The main site here has the first part online. It's a highly entertaining book, IMO, but problematic if you want to know want really happened, since Felix lied or concealed things very often. However, it does give a good feeling about life among the Russian noblemans at this time in general.

Thank you

Offline Linnea

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2006, 09:44:57 AM »
Is there a difference between "Lost Splendor" and "Lost Splendour" as the first one has about 300 pages and the second one only 250? Thanks.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2006, 10:30:48 AM »
Is there a difference between "Lost Splendor" and "Lost Splendour" as the first one has about 300 pages and the second one only 250? Thanks.

Same book, but "Lost Splendor is the U.S. spelling while "Lost Splendour" is the British spelling. The size difference may be attributed to printing variation.

Margarita
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Offline ashdean

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2006, 11:38:23 AM »
When it came to fact & fiction, Felix put them in a cocktail shaker !!!!...However "Lost Splendour" is one of my favourite books & the descriptions of the family..wealth/position are hardly lies..as other witnesses testify...I love it also for the fact it first introduced me to the breathtaking Princess Zenaida..surely one of the most exqusite women of all time....

Offline Linnea

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2006, 11:59:46 AM »
Is there a difference between "Lost Splendor" and "Lost Splendour" as the first one has about 300 pages and the second one only 250? Thanks.

Same book, but "Lost Splendor is the U.S. spelling while "Lost Splendour" is the British spelling. The size difference may be attributed to printing variation.

Margarita
  :)

Thank you. I did order the "ou"-version today but had to notice that the "o" one had 50 pages more, so I thought the text of the ou-version must have been shorted.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2006, 10:37:14 PM »
Is there a difference between "Lost Splendor" and "Lost Splendour" as the first one has about 300 pages and the second one only 250? Thanks.

Same book, but "Lost Splendor is the U.S. spelling while "Lost Splendour" is the British spelling. The size difference may be attributed to printing variation.

Margarita
  :)

Thank you. I did order the "ou"-version today but had to notice that the "o" one had 50 pages more, so I thought the text of the ou-version must have been shorted.

Hi Linnea,

I hope that you shall enjoy reading the memoirs as much as I have. One of my copies is in Russian, which avoids the use of the words "Lost Splendo(u)r.

All the best,

Margarita


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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2007, 06:13:22 PM »
I just finished the book about a week ago.

I wondered all the way through if Felix truly saw every person he met as gracious and beautiful and natural etc.  I don't think he had a bad word to say about anyone.  Except Anna Vyrubova, of course. And Alexandra and Rasputin.

I think Feix was doing "damage control" in this book.  He glosses over the homosexuality, proudly claims that Irina was his "soul mate" and then says that she felt the same way about men as friends as opposed to women friends as he did.  ???  Remember in the 1950s homosexuallity was not viewed as it is today.

It does seem as though he got through Oxford without too much hard work or study, and I don't believe that Oxford is all that easy.  A lot of the things that he thought were funny, I find unsettling.  Like taking his dog into England disguised as a baby.

This showed his complete disregard for authority and law.

Of course he had Imperial standing all of his life and since I don't, I guess I wouldn't understand his mind set or that of anyone who was used to getting just about everything they wanted.

As for the murder, when he was writing in 1950, Felix could say what he wanted because the files were sealed and no one else was talking especially Dimitri Pavlovich.

I never liked the representation of Felix and Dimitri in Nicholas & Alexandra the movie, because Massie didn't portray it that way in the book.  I seriously doubt that he and Dimitri sat around smoking hookah and laughing at such a dangerous moment.

I have also read Greg King's book The Murder of Rasputin and Alex DeJong's book The Life and Times of Grigorii Rasputin and I wonder what Felix would have to say about these books if he were alive today.

Felix was both a "legend in his own time" and a "legend in his own mind".  And his legacy lives on in the dislaimer which is now posted on all movies "any similarity to any person living or dead is entirely coincidental".  I always thought that his timely sueing of Paramount Pictures helped save him and Irina from living in poverty.

I bought the book because I wanted to read his own words. (I only hope that nothing was gained or lost in the translation).  Do I believe all of it?  No. 

But pehaps only the spoiled self indulgent son of the richest family in Imperial Russia could plan a murder and execute it with so little thought or regret.  Perhaps not regret killing Rasputin, whom he and many others thought was ruining thier way of life with his interference at the Imperial court, but no regret at the taking of a human life.  Even soldiers in battle have trouble with that.






Offline imperial angel

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2007, 11:34:31 AM »
Nobody should regret killing Rasputin. Yet he did not do it for the essential issues involved, he did because of a desire for fame, and perhaps a certain boredom, because his life was filled with wealth and privilege, but also with emptiness. It was this very emptiness that caused young aristocrats like his own brother to get into duels, and affairs, and pretty much every form of dissipation on the planet. They had money, but n0t much meaning. Felix was familiar with all those things of course, but he wanted to do more. He wanted to do something to make himself stand out even more than he already did. He knew the murder of a man like Rasputin was the ticket. I thought your point was good, although it was not just as a man of his status that he did it, it was as a man of his personality, which was very unique, even for someone of his status. I really should read his memoirs, because I never have.

Offline Valmont

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2007, 03:04:59 PM »
I do not agree with you on this, I do not think Felix killed Rasputin for fame, he really did not needed to kill anyone to be known by everyone. He was pretty well known everywhere at that time. You have to take for a fact that he was the heir of one (if not the one) of the wealthiest family in europe. His portrait, painted by Serov,  was well known and had been copied several times. He also mentions in "Lost Splendor" how he was easilly recognized by his looks and his mother's jewerly when he was in drag. On the same hand, I do not think he did it just tro kill some time for he had nothing to do...
I believe Felix as many other nobles in Russia (his mother included) thought Rasputin was having a negative influennce on the Empress. They blamed Alix for the general situation the empire was suffering and they all knew Rasputin had  great influence over her. Although they did not know why he had so much power.
In Felix's world everything was based on rank and wealth. He was a Prince, son of the  glamorous and sophisticated  Princess  Zenaida Yussupova  and he lived, or tried to give the impression, he lived larger than life and everything always work in his favor. He felt he was better than most people and if he could not outrank someone he certainly felt superior  because of  his wealth.
Now, try to imagine how he would have felt when he knew that the Empress dissmised his mother in such a humiliating way, when all his mother was doing was for the better of Russia. And all was because of this filthy peasant. A low class social climber could not be higher than the  exquisite Princess and the humiliation his mother  suffered was  because of that dirty peasant's fault.  A humiliation like that  could only be  washed by blood. Remember that in those times  Pride and Honor  played a very important role in society.
I stronlgly believe his motivations were more of revenge for his Mother's Humiliation than fame or the well being of Russia... but I have no proof of this.. just what I think..

Arturo Vega-Llausás
Arturo Vega-Llausás

Offline Belochka

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2007, 06:19:24 PM »
Nobody should regret killing Rasputin.

Killing an innocent man - in cold blood was a deplorable act. It was not a patriotic measure as Felix and Dmitri understood it to be.

To suggest that "nobody should regret his killing" suggests that you fully endorse the murder and those individuals who perpetrated the crime.

Margarita


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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2007, 10:57:03 AM »
Well, I am not a fan of Rasputin, to put it that way. I think murder is always unfortunate, and this murder actually accomplished little good, and made things worse. I just think in theory, if not in fact, the death of Rasputin was a good thing. Ironically, for all the negative influence he had on the dynasty, it was after he was murdered that things fell apart. That's not what Prince Felix intended. I have never read that other theory Valmont posted, but I find it intriguing. I think there might be something to that, as it really stands apart from other theories I have read. I certainly would never say that Prince Felix thought it he was doing it for the good of Russia.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2007, 01:38:00 AM »
... My guess would be that he did it for the Thrill of it ...
Arturo Vega-Llausás

There is no documentation that suggests that Felix allegedly murdered Rasputin for a thrill. That suggests that Felix may have acted on the spur of the moment. If he wanted a personal "thrill" such as this one, then why involve others?

I just think in theory, if not in fact, the death of Rasputin was a good thing. Ironically, for all the negative influence he had on the dynasty, it was after he was murdered that things fell apart. That's not what Prince Felix intended. I have never read that other theory Valmont posted, but I find it intriguing. I think there might be something to that, as it really stands apart from other theories I have read. I certainly would never say that Prince Felix thought it he was doing it for the good of Russia.

It would be more accurate to claim that Rasputin was perceived to have a "negative influence." The reality was very different and those who actually met him who were more than aware that he was not the man portrayed by the media, a few outspoken socialist members of the Duma and the gossipers inside the Petrograd salons.

Dmitri himself stated in exile that the motive essentially was considered to be a patriotic act for the good of Russia, effectivelly to strike hard against Nikolai II.

It could be suggested that the motives were multifaceted - but it can never be viewed as a "thrill" ride, simply because too many persons were involved with the crime, including those who were not physically participating on the night.

It was a morally reprehensible crime that only served to hasten the February Uprising.

Margarita



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Offline Valmont

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2007, 10:29:27 AM »
How do you know Felix was not  thrill about killing Rasputing? Irina's letters  asking Felix  why he is so excited days before the murderer might suggest he was. but in fact, we might never know... all we are doing is guessing.... unless we read Felix's diaries and that might never happen.... so, all we can do is speculate..

Arturo Vega-Llausás
Arturo Vega-Llausás

Offline Belochka

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2007, 07:29:54 PM »
How do you know Felix was not  thrill about killing Rasputing? Irina's letters  asking Felix  why he is so excited days before the murderer might suggest he was. but in fact, we might never know... all we are doing is guessing.... unless we read Felix's diaries and that might never happen.... so, all we can do is speculate..

Arturo Vega-Llausás

I have been consulting well over 60 books and documents (mostly Russian) including the police reports of the day and nothing in them lead me to speculate that this was a "thrill" ride. In fact how can you be so sure that Felix was the murderer? There were two other main contenders who could have discharged the fatal shots? Equally one can also speculate what Felix's actual participation was apart from offering the venue, the opportunity and of course the ride to get to the scene where the crime is believed to have been carried out.

Perhaps you might be confusing the idea of eager anticipation of the "necessary act" as against the actual pleasure of the kill itself? There is a difference.

Indeed we will never really know because the two contradictory "memoirs" that we have today are the only available information we have as to how the co-conspirators wanted to ensure that the world would see how they allegedly commissioned the murder.

While Kosorotov's autopsy report and later public statement are all we have to understand the outcome - even this material has become extraordinarily contentious among scholars in Russia today. If anything I believe there were sexual elements to that crime and that the very specific assault on his body was purposefully inflicted not for a "thrill" but as act of intense hate and payback for Rasputin's "perceived" social indiscretions.

Margarita


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