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Messages - Johnny

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Their World and Culture / Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« on: March 04, 2007, 06:59:23 PM »
Musorgsky, Sens-Sans, Mendelson, Rimsky-Korsajkov, Chaykowsky, Wagner, Shtrauss, Bize, Adan, Glinka, Dargomyzsky, Rubinstein, Shumann, Chopin, Delib, Dubois, Neidgardt etc.
Not to mention Verdi!

Who is Neidgardt?

The Yussupovs / Re: Your personal opinion on Felix Yusupov
« on: March 04, 2007, 06:56:14 PM »

You could be reading my death sentence to me, and I would still be standing there listening to you with my mouth open in awe and admiration. You write so beautifully and in such an impeccanle English that it takes my breath away. After reading your posts I feel so well and elevated that agreeing or disagreeing with your points becomes all of a sudden almost  irrelevant. It's like saying "I disagree with "Anna Karenina" or agree with "Romeo and Juliet". :)

Here is the link to the serov painting

This painting however is terrible. It does not do justice to his handsome good looks.
Dear AkshayChavan,

You are rather unkind to Serov's masterpiece  :). I find it to be a fabulous picture. Nicholas was indeed handsome, but that can also be seen in Serov's painting of him. But what a great artist like Serov captures in his painting of his subject is its psychology which is not made so bluntly visible in Belsky's portrait of Nikolai. Another painter, a lesser artist than Belsky and Serov would have just painted a flattering photographic resemblence of the sitter. In Belsky's painting you see a handsome and wealthy young man if a bit disturbed. In Serov you see a handsome, wealthy young man with hot passions burning deep in him, with disturbed thoughts. His impulssivness is brought out to the surface. He looks like a ticking time-bomb awaiting its impeding doom by its own explosion. In his face you can almost see the upcoming duel which resulted in his death. Perhaps that's what makes him look less attractive in this painting, but the physical resemblance is absolutely uncanny. It's Serov after all. Thank you very much for posting the link!

The Yussupovs / Re: Your personal opinion on Felix Yusupov
« on: March 02, 2007, 07:41:47 AM »
I agree 100% with you.

The Yussupovs / Re: Your personal opinion on Felix Yusupov
« on: March 01, 2007, 06:31:11 PM »
1.our painted little cross dresser and homosexual hero.

2.These are not the actions of heores but assassins.

3.Rasputin had committed no crimes. He was guilty of breaking no laws. To say he deserved to be tortured then executed without defense or hearing is not only a sin it is also morally reprehensible. And Felix bragged about his actions without any show of remorse or Christian conscience. Of course, since you see such observations as moralistic trash I assume you find nothing wrong in cold blooded murder.

4.Don't be too sure little Felix wasn't intimately involved in the machinations that led to the fatal duel of his brother. Suggest you do some research on that.

5.And yes, only  a cuthroat would invite a man in to his home with the intent to murder him, no matter what century he was living in. Being sensitive, stylish and artistic doesn't excuse his bad manners and his bloody intent.
1.I would be a little more sensitive and respectful of others than throwing around such derogatory adjectives. Some people on this board might just be that.

2.They were not professional murderers. They had never killed a man and when they did try, everything went wrong. That's why a simple poisoning attempt turned into a brutal murder.

3. If that's how you think, it doesn't surprise me that you came up with what you said in no.1.

4. I did do my research. He had no motive to want his brother dead.

5. And the way you are condemning him it seems you actually believe his story that he planned and murdered Rasputin singlehandedly. He was one of many. He didn't even pull the trigger. Chances are Rasputin wasn't even poisoned. We don't exactly know who killed him. Many things are going on right now, like the war in Iraq, which to some look heroic now but who knows what they will think of it 80 years from now. We weren't around then, so we can't really judge fairly.


For me one life is as precious as another. Alexandra's life was by no means more precious than her lowest subjects'. I am personally against killings of all sorts, including capital punishment. But I also believe that numbers matter. Killing one person in order to save thousands is a no brainer to me. In case of Alexandra, she didn't have to be killed, just removed from her powerful position. Same goes for Rasputin. But people at the time thought differently. Besides, where was Felix supposed to imprison Rasputin (or Alexandra for that matter)? In his basement? Thousands of people died worse deaths than that of Rasputin as a result of Alexandra's stupid actions or inactions. That includes all those who perished under the soviet regime.The Jewish pogroms, her adamant opposition to real reforms in the rural areas becuase, god forbid, it could change her childish mental images of the idyllic pure peasant life. She said in her own letter, which I read, that the peasants should not be given European style freedoms because they are not ready for it.  Rasputin himself was a result of Alexandra's actions. Without her he would have been nobody. All that said, I find what happened to Alexandra at the end extremely unjust and tragic. I don't beleive in revenge and punishment. As long as the person is not in a position to do harm, that's more than enough for me. I am not happy that Rasputin was killed either. But in his case I find the alternative less attractive. It made no difference at the end, because he was killed too late. And my last point: Alexandra is more responsible for Rasputin's death than any of the actual murderers. If she had got rid of Rasputin in the first place by sending him back to his village and keepin an eye on him so he wouldn't misbehave, he wouldn't have been killed.

The Yussupovs / Re: Your personal opinion on Felix Yusupov
« on: February 28, 2007, 04:52:34 PM »
He is the epitome of the corruption of the last years of the Romanovs. He probably had something quite sinister to do with the death of his older brother. He does nothing with his wealth except to lead a hedonistic existence in the demi-underworld of the time. He marries without love. And he then violates the laws of hospitality by inviting a man into his home with the intent to murder him. If we can believe his story, which is a big IF, then he then becomes a cowardly assassin by shooting the man in the back. When he bends to examine the man's body and it shows signs of life, he flees in terror, screaming like a teenage girl as far as he can. Then, he does nothing with his life but live off the story which he embelishes and re-invents on each occassion. He breaks his promise to his fellow conspirators. He spends the rest of his life feeding off this one moment in time.
If he hadn't been involved in the Rasputin murder none of us today would probably have ever heard of him or know who he was. He had his 15 minutes of fame and then made the most of it by milking it for all he could get.
Felix was not corrupt whatsoever, unless by corruption you mean his habit of crossdressing, sleeping with men and wild partying. But that would all be moralistic trash. I have no problems with drag queens and eccentric people. I actually find them very interesting, and there's no reason to believe they are any worse than the general population. In many ways Rasputin, Sergey, and many officials were much more corrupt than this sensitive, artistic and kindhearted man. And you call Felix the epitome of corruption ??? Felix certainly had nothing to do with his brother's death. I don't know where you got all that from? He did love his wife in his own way, the same way she loved him in her own way. They never left each other, did they? The only mistake that he made about killing Rasputin was that he didn't do it sooner. Rasputin might look in retrospect innocent to some, but at the time he didn't to him. Rasputin himself probably didn't think he was doing anything wrong, but he definitely had to be removed because of the damage he was causing the monarchy. And what do you mean "he then violates the laws of hospitality"? You must be kidding! Felix didn't exactly live in the middle ages. He was of the exact same generation as my grandmother's. This ain't ancient history. They are relatively recent events. He was certainly a modern man. If he was brave enough he should have eliminated Alexandra as well. That might have saved the monarchy. >:(
And even without killing Rasputin Felix would have been famous. His portrait done by Serov is one of the greatest paintings ever done. And he was already famous as a teenager because of that. I knew and admired the painting long before I learned about Felix. He was world famous for his good looks, like any good-looking prince would be today. In exile he was kind to others, helped other emigrants, had great taste in art and clothing and for years had his own line of clothing and worked in his own shop, basically earned his living. He just wrote his memoirs and that was it. He used a bit of imagination there, but given the circumstances, his own reasons and also biography writing standards of the time he didn't do anything inexplicable. If anyone or anything is to blame, it would be the media which milked the story. He was a celebrity after all!

The Yussupovs / Re: Your personal opinion on Felix Yusupov
« on: February 27, 2007, 07:21:57 PM »
I love the guy. I wouldn't exchange one Felix for a hundred Alexandras. :)

The Yussupovs / Re: Felix Yusupov and the murder of Rasputin
« on: February 27, 2007, 07:17:28 PM »
Dear Griffh,

You might actually be right about Berlin's being the first major European city to be redesigned in 300 years. And they have done an awful job. Entire neighborhoods have been ruined for ever. Unlike Barcelona where modern and old seem to complement each other, here in Berlin that mixture has produced some of its saddest results. Each star architect trying to push his most bizarre design with no respect of the surrounding architecture. And when the city runs short of money (which is all of the time) they throw away the project plans and turn the empty lot into a park by planting some trees. The city has no real concept and no real plans and no money to rebuild itself properly. It's really painful for me to see what's going on around me, and I am not even German and have been living here for only three years. The city is also covered with graffiti from the poorest neighborhoods all the way to walls of palaces and brand new modern buildings. The officials see it as sort of a poor man's art and have no plans to ever stop it. The east and west parts of the city don't seem to want to integrate. I know people from west Berlin who have never been to the East side. It's unbelieavable. It's still pretty much two cities. When I get too depressed about it I just take the train and go to Potsdam 20 minutes away from downtown Berlin. I feast my eyes on some glorious Baroque and neo-classical architecture and then come home. :)

The Imperial Family / Re: Languages of NAOTMAA and how they sounded
« on: February 15, 2007, 03:09:55 PM »
With some people here mentioning that they speak more then one language,whats the best way to learn Russian? Im off topic but I've several books on the Romanovs in Russian, I would love to read them. Again sorry for straying from the topic.  :P
If you tried being born in Russia, that would be the best and easiest way  ;). Otherwise, the language is so tough to learn it is not even funny. As a child I heard it spoken at home by my parents and among their siblings. I read and write it and can somewhat communicate if I absolutely have to. It's also an absolutely beautiful language, so it's worth the effort to learn it.

The Imperial Family / Re: Languages of NAOTMAA and how they sounded
« on: February 15, 2007, 03:04:26 PM »
Was the Palace under Attack did the enemies get in?
The Dowager Empress was not in S.Petersburg when the revolution happened. And she never got a chance to go back either. The revolutionaries managed to get into and occupy all the imperial and high nobility palaces within months from the revolution.

The Imperial Family / Re: Languages of NAOTMAA and how they sounded
« on: February 12, 2007, 08:46:21 AM »
I would do anything to hear the voices of the children and how they spoke Russian.

Is it known in which language the recordings were made? I would guess Russian or English. I know they belonged to Marie Feodorovna -- anybody know which language she was most comfortable using?
It seems now that we are all speaking of and about existing recordings of the children's voices which at this time are supposedly lost or misplaced. Is there anyone who does know it for a fact that they exist? I've been following this thread since it started and it seems that the children's recordings started simply as someone's wish like "wouldn't it be great if there were a recording of the children's voices, the kind that a grandma would make?" and somebody else said "I am sure their grandmother would do such a thing." And then little by little it took a life of its own and turned into a fact. At least it is the impression that I've got. Please correct me if I am mistaken!

The Imperial Family / Re: Dolls, wax figures, busts etc of NAOTMAA
« on: January 16, 2007, 07:23:17 PM »
Even if the figures were depicted fully nude, I would still not see anything pronographic in it.
I have to see the statue from closeby, but from what i could discern from the pictures it looks like a beautiful work of art.
By the way, having moved to and living in Germany for some years now, in a culture in which nudity and sex
are completely dissociated, where parents and kids can easily walk around naked in front of each other (and not just relatives, for that matter) I see nudity less and less as pornographic. It's the Anglo-Saxon within us (ethnically or culturally or both) that makes us think and feel that way.

The Imperial Family / Re: Languages of NAOTMAA and how they sounded
« on: January 15, 2007, 07:13:32 PM »
I read that the girls’ english wasn’t very good (I think an english relative said so) which embarrassed Alix since they were great-grandchildren of an English queen, so she hired a tutor for them. I think this was when they were a little older.
I don't think the English relative thought that they weren't fluent or anything. He probably felt that the girls didn't speak exactly the English spoken in England with all its current expressions or more specialized terminolgy which they probably failed to understand or would fish for, he himself failing to understand that it's a simple fact that if you don't live in a country, you do not learn all the nuances of the language. The girls might speak 24/7 in English with their mother and read and write in English constantly, Even Shakespear or Dickens. That still deos not prepare them for a simple trip to the a British post office or pharmacy. There are always specialized terms which you won't be learning unless you live in the country and that permanently. Even people who lived outside their own countries for an extended period of time (especially if it's longer than a decade or two) feel often quite rusty or don't understand many new terms and expressions when they visit their native lands.

I would also like to add that the official Russian court language was certainly Russian during the reign of Nicholas II. It doesn't mean that the high society spoke Russian among themselves, although more did than in earlier times. Many society people were also experimenting with English. In fact English had become so fashionable that according to (Lili Dehn? Vyrubova?) people who didn't speak English at all would fake an English accent while speaking Russian in order to make others believe that they were mainly English speakers.

Someone above said that the Russian court spoke French because they simply copied everything that was European. I find that slightly unfair. First of all, Russians are Europeans (even the ones living in Vladivostok come from European tradition). Secondly, the court spoke French because most European courts did so, not because of a certain francophile streak among Russians. In fact Peter the Great would probably have preferred German or Dutch, since those were HIS main European countries (which he held as models for his new Russia). By the time Catherine II was empress the court language all over Europe was French. Even Friedrick the Great spoke German rather poorly. His court language was also French. The English court was one of the only ones which kept the official language English, although they were all fluent in French as well. By the end of the 19th century because of a rather universal wave of nationalism among European countries most European courts reverted back to their native toungues. Therefore even in that the Russian court was following the general trend when Nicholas I changed the official written and Nicholas II the spoken languages of the court back to Russian.

The Imperial Family / Re: The Non-Hetero Royals
« on: January 08, 2007, 06:14:33 AM »
The diaries of K.K. (for Konstantin Konstantinovich. In my opinion it is better to use K.K. that K.R. for him. He used K.R. as pseudonym for his publications) were supposed to be kept secret for 90 or 100 years after his death (there are two versions). However, the Soviet regime neglected his wish, and part of his diary was published in the magazine “Red Archives” in volumes 6(43), 7(44) and 8(45) in 1930 and 1931.
More excerpts were published by E. Matonina between 1992 and 1996 in magazines as “Soviet Museum”, “Moscow”, “Bezhin Lug” and “Ochag”.

Why is K.K. any better than K.R.? He is known with that pseudonym, and it's not that he just made it up out of thin air. It's simply his initials "K"onstantin "R"omanov.


The French ambassador, Paleologue never met Rasputin.

You are correct Annie, Rasputin had no political aspirations. He did not understand political intrigue nor its machinations. His only consideration was acceptance by the Imperial Family as their spiritual advisor. It was because he had the freedom to seek an audience with the Family, that started the gossip mill turning full speed. It reached its crescendo in the Duma in November 1916 courtesy of Rodzianko. Kerenski was no shining light and was equally colored by the same brush as were Guchkov and Rodzianko. Kerenskii was responsible for Russia's first political cremation. It set a trend some eighteen months later.

The media played a huge role in discrediting a person whom most had never met. Once the lies are out it is very difficult to retract them when the victim prefered silence and humility. Who then was to be believed?

The question that should be asked, if Rasputin was a political creature, then why did things not immediately improve?



In my earlier posting I said I can't blieve that there are people who still believe that Rasputin did not try to exert political influence on the IF. I feel I was not very clear in my comment, because I agree 100% with what you are saying above. Rasputin indeed had no political aspirations. But that doesn't mean he didn't influence the course of politics. He did that as Annie said earlier in order to secure his positinon at the court. Sometimes being the tool of other people, sometimes being just naive, not realizing the extent of consequences of his actions or the seriousness of it. On many issues he was very logical but simply lacked education and knowledge of the political system of the time, and a very corrupt one, too.

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