Apollinaire in Germany

 

Apollinaire was very popular in Bonn and in Berlin, where he befriended Herwarth Walden, who, among other things, occupied a societal role similar to that of Apollinaire. Apollinaire also wrote and drew quite prolifically, of course, in addition to being a tastemaker around whom a circle of other artists and authors coalesced.

In early 1913, August Macke was very excited when not only Apollinaire but Robert Delaunay (and later Max Ernst) came to hang out at his place. Apollinaire spoke German very well, also. Anyway, AM just loved these guys, and generally began trailing them around and writing to them all the time and so on.

There is much more to this story, some of it very exciting, and be assured I will get to it all shortly…

However not everyone was enchanted by Apollinaire. That “not everyone” included, well… for the immediate subject at hand, Franz Marc. FM actually had little use for Delaunay, after a (short) while, either. During 1913, FM pesters Delaunay with tons of perplexing, unsolicited criticism, finally in one outburst declaring that RD wasn’t a very good writer, either.

Apollinaire did like FM’s work, but FM kept a distance. Today upon discovering that it is Apollinaire’s birthday, well, what can I say? It explains a lot. Here is a very comprehensive if somewhat outdatedly designed Website about Apollinaire.

AM finally told FM, basically, to stop embarrassing him in front of his cool new friends. FM pointed out that it was he who had introduced these three to one another, and, that also, RD was kind of a jerk, refusing to give AM anything but a scrap of used drawing paper (like literally AM was begging for any type of memento and that was what RD let him have!). Anyway, RM and AM fought all the time as it was, so this altercation of course could not be resolved swiftly or in a few words and continued over the course of some petulant correspondence and huffy silences…full citations to come. FM was jealous, of course, but also he hated to see AM fall in with people he thought embodied the worst characteristic of all, that of being fake.

Fortunately, since everything that has happened before will happen again, this throwdown has been re-enacted by  two parallel characters in one of the most important documentaries of our time (it had to be peddled as fiction because of the potency of its truth), Mean Girls (2004).

Above is the epic scene in which Janis Ian (as FM) confronts Cady Heron (as AM)  [we won’t even get into the whole LiLo thing here, or about… nevermind) about being plastic…

With a special guest appearance by Damian as Helmuth Macke.

 

2 comments

  1. That’s a good question. I do not know as much about this as I should, even though Astra, the dog you read about a lot on this site was named from the text in L’équipe de Cardiff. I read some interesting stuff about Delaunay in this book: Marc, Macke und Delaunay : die Schönheit einer zerbrechenden Welt, 1910-
    1914
    .
    I think he mostly hung out in Paris, where he lived, in Belleville, and for a while in Portugal and Spain, and then back to France…

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