Drawing on key new sources, here is the first biography of Garbo written from a woman's perspective. Karen Swenson gives exclusive insights into the star's struggles with movie executives at MGM and with her mentor, Mauritz Stiller, as well as her bisexuality--aspects of her life often overlooked or treated as unimportant details. Here is the woman behind the myth, accompanied by rare, candid photos, some never before published. 32 pages of photos.
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A Life Apart is the apt subtitle of this scrupulously researched biography of the star as legendary for her fiercely guarded privacy as for her haunting beauty and luminous acting in such films as Camille and Ninotchka. Entertainment writer Karen Swenson delineates a unique personality considerably earthier than Greta Garbo's screen image: shy yet blunt, devoted to her craft but indifferent to fame, sexually magnetic to both men and women, a loyal friend who mercilessly punished disloyalty. The author meticulously fact-checked the often unreliable memories of companions and lovers such as Cecil Beaton and Mercedes de Acosta to comprehensively document Garbo's long life (1905-90).From Kirkus Reviews:
Yet another biography of perhaps the most iconic of film actresses--this one an awkward accumulation of largely irrelevant detail that leaves Garbo a cipher. Garbo scholars must contend not only with the basic problem of their subject's nearly lifelong public silence, but also with her apparent refusal, even among friends, to talk about her career, her love life, or much of anything else. Most information about her tends to come from the conjectures of acquaintances whose accounts--especially those of her putative lovers Mercedes de Acosta and Cecil Beaton--are notoriously untrustworthy. Biographer Swenson (Barbra: The Second Decade, not reviewed) presents a rewarding view of Garbo's early European film career, including the blustery shenanigans of her Svengali, the director Mauritz Stiller, and the negotiations that led to her signing with MGM. But Swenson's exhaustiveness is often maddeningly pointless. For instance, she devotes a page to a variety of contradictory explanations for an episode of illness; for one diagnosis, pernicious anemia, she offers a detailed medical explanation, then adds a footnote to say that Garbo probably didn't have pernicious anemia at all, leaving us still ignorant as to what ailed her. Swenson goes into commendable depth about Garbo's affair with costar John Gilbert; about later affairs, though, with both men and women, there is so little reliable information that Swenson's disorganized efforts to discuss them seem futile. While she presents the impressions of many of Garbo's friends in Sweden and America, neither the fondest recollections nor the most sympathetic biographer can counter a lot of evidence that Garbo was a childish, intellectually feeble bore whose personality apparently encompassed little beyond wary passivity and spoiled petulance. So it's not entirely Swenson's fault that she fails to find any understandable motivation behind Garbo's half-hearted attempts to return to films after her 1941 swan song, Two- Faced Woman, and the empty globe-trotting decades that followed. Well-intentioned, but regrettably garbled. (photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descripción Scribner, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110684807254
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