Nijinsky: A Life

James Davidson writes:

His sister hadn’t seen him for seven years. She had been trapped in Kiev during the war that followed the Russian Revolution. Eventually, in 1921, she managed to escape with her elderly mother and two small children and made her way to Vienna.

When we entered his room Vaslav was sitting in an armchair; he did not get up to greet us. Mother rushed to embrace him, but Vaslav showed no emotional reaction on seeing his mother. He remained withdrawn into himself, also when I embraced him. Throughout our visit in his room he had an absent look, staring into space and not uttering a word.

(LRB 26 September 2013)

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