Zdenka Cerny - Greatest Bohemian Cellist


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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

We know she was not a famous cellist, but we do not know whether she could have been. And that is the question.

Why? Who said she was a brilliant cellist besides Mucha? He obviously had the same effect on women as you. Look at the evidence.

1 hour ago, Rue said:

No. She wasn't a famous cellist. That's my point.

She was too busy shopping. She had to be locked indoors to stop her spending compulsion. Look at the evidence.

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1 minute ago, sospiri said:

Why? Who said she was a brilliant cellist besides Mucha? He obviously had the same effect on women as you, look at the evidence.

She was too busy shopping. She had to be locked indoors to stop her spending compulsion. Look at the evidence.

Which evidence?

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6 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

Old biographies are full of fathers beating the hell out of husbands for that.  Today they would more likely ignore it  :)

Old biographies (and modern biographies) are full of fathers beating the hell out of their own daughters too.

I'm not sure if fathers now or then would be less likely to intervene.  I bet it's about the same and depends on the power dynamics between the father and son-in-law and the father's own history of violence.

I also think you need to do some reading on what hot, backbreaking labor laundry day used to be prior to electricity.  There's a great chapter at the beginning of Caro's LBJ biography, The Path to Power, that's very evocative on the subject.  Women's work was never done.

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6 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

To be honest, she made her own choices and lived with the consequences.  Nobody forced her to fall in love with a monster (if he was)

I doubt he was a monster, he was more likely just a product of his times and believed that the women’s Place was domestic, and for a mother to work was to insinuate that the father was an inadequate provider.

Notice that this was not an issue in poor families, Where all that “high society” BS is less important than in earning enough money to buy dinner tonight.

meanwhile @sospiri She was scheduled to perform with Frederic stock and the Chicago Symphony. That’s not nothing by itself, but also indicates a build-up of skill and reputation, which, in the snobby classist society of that day, was hard to do.

The Saint-Saens is not a great concerto, But it is quite challenging to play effectively, So there is enough evidence to conclude that her star was ascending, and the only question is how high it would’ve gone. Perhaps no higher, but we will never know.

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17 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I doubt he was a monster, he was more likely just a product of his times and believed that the women’s Place was domestic, and for a mother to work was to insinuate that the father was an inadequate provider.

Notice that this was not an issue in poor families, Where all that “high society” BS is less important than in earning enough money to buy dinner tonight.

meanwhile @sospiri She was scheduled to perform with Frederic stock and the Chicago Symphony. That’s not nothing by itself, but also indicates a build-up of skill and reputation, which, in the snobby classist society of that day, was hard to do.

The Saint-Saens is not a great concerto, But it is quite challenging to play effectively, So there is enough evidence to conclude that her star was ascending, and the only question is how high it would’ve gone. Perhaps no higher, but we will never know.

That's all we have though. The rest is speculation.

 

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43 minutes ago, Stephen Fine said:

Old biographies (and modern biographies) are full of fathers beating the hell out of their own daughters too.

I'm not sure if fathers now or then would be less likely to intervene.  I bet it's about the same and depends on the power dynamics between the father and son-in-law and the father's own history of violence.

I also think you need to do some reading on what hot, backbreaking labor laundry day used to be prior to electricity.  There's a great chapter at the beginning of Caro's LBJ biography, The Path to Power, that's very evocative on the subject.  Women's work was never done.

Wives in well to do families didn't do household chores. They had servants.

Look at an old house in a well to do area, it had the family accommodation and servants quarters.

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43 minutes ago, sospiri said:

That's all we have though. The rest is speculation.

 

Yes, that is true but it is a logical conclusion That if she had been allowed to continue with cello she would have continued To increase.

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3 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

I also think you need to do some reading on what hot, backbreaking labor laundry day used to be prior to electricity.  There's a great chapter at the beginning of Caro's LBJ biography, The Path to Power, that's very evocative on the subject.  Women's work was never done.

You're trying too hard to win friends and be a feminist.  Since you're talking about poor people now, go be a coal miner.  Nobody was ever crushed like a bug by laundry. Historically men are disposable and replaceable in society, and women aren't.

Point was society did terrible things to women, I countered saying society values women over men

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11 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

You're trying too hard to win friends and be a feminist.  Since you're talking about poor people now, go be a coal miner.  Nobody was ever crushed like a bug by laundry. Historically men are disposable and replaceable in society, and women aren't.

Point was society did terrible things to women, I countered saying society values women over men

Bill... I've got all the friends I need and they all know I'm a feminist.

The Path to Power is one of my all-time favorite books of American and Texas history and that chapter on laundry is amazing. I recommended it because I love recommending that book and because you seem to think that "men's work" is more arduous and there are plenty of examples of that not being true.

Sure... coal mining is more dangerous than laundry.  But laundry is more dangerous and physically demanding than any number of professional occupations.  Just what percentage of the male population do you think was engaged in coal mining at any given time?  The world isn't all wars and coal mines... but laundry is universal.

You seem quite able to understand the desire to "protect" and cherish a woman.  It shouldn't take too much imagination for you to imagine a man more desiring of dominating his wife.  There's a very fine line between protection and domination, it got crossed regularly when women were viewed as property.

PS- I'm only alive because a great-grandmother was too sick to work that day at the Triangle Factory. I'm not sure why anyone is bringing up the very wealthy women with servants. That couldn't have been very many women.

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3 hours ago, Stephen Fine said:

Bill... I've got all the friends I need and they all know I'm a feminist.

...what percentage of the male population do you think was engaged in coal mining at any given time?  

...You seem quite able to understand the desire to "protect" and cherish a woman.  It shouldn't take too much imagination for you to imagine a man more desiring of dominating his wife.

The point about coal mining was to illustrate a daily danger men were expected to face that society did not expect of women.  There are innumerable other examples, from soldiering to lifeboats, to office coronaries.  Good grief -- we're supposed to stand up when a woman enters the room!  It doesn't get any better than that.

If I had a daughter I'd do my best to raise her to rise to all possibilities, to have no limits, to show her that responsibility is entirely hers, that in the long run her limitations are ones she imposes on herself.  Warn her about --isms, so she doesn't become any kind --ist, so that her experience is firsthand, and not through those that would own and control her mind for their benefit.

If you keep suggesting feminist books I'll have to suggest the author Titania McGrath to you.  I might anyway...

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43 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

 

If you keep suggesting feminist books I'll have to suggest the author Titania McGrath to you.  I might anyway...

The fact that you think Robert Caro's multivolume biography of Lyndon B. Johnson is a feminist text is very, very strange.

It is usually regarded as the greatest biography ever written.  The first two volumes read like a novel.  LBJ is, literally, a lying sociopath desperate for power.  It's astonishing and important.

The early chapters on Texas history are just for setting the scene.

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But you were suggesting it to teach a feminist point, right?  If not, then when did the thread get about LBJ?  When I lived in Texas I read all I could about Texas history.  It's really rich and I knew nothing about it and everybody I spoke to made some reference to history and I felt left out...

 

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I sometimes wonder why my life experiences sometimes seem to be so very different from other peoples' life experiences?   And while I haven't travelled the globe, I'm also not the product of some isolated small town in the middle of nowhere, where I've never travelled outside of a 100 mile radius.

I'm talking about the 'big picture', obviously not the 'little picture' when I make broad generalizations.  Most of the people I've met, even from other ethnicities, have had a very similar 'big picture'.  I've tried to sort it out, and the main commonality is that we're all 'middle class' more or less, despite cultural differences, educational differences or even financial differences.

From my POV, women have always had a 'different' standing than men.  Certainly not higher and certainly not lower.  Much of this was based on division of labour.  There's nothing wrong with a division of labour - however it may pan out within a family unit.  Women in my family all worked outside the home.  However, when at home, they took the stereotypical female roles (ie. household chores) while the men took the stereotypical male roles (ie. outdoor chores). But it was never an absolute.  My father did laundry when he needed to.  My mother cut the lawn when she needed to.  No big deal.

I am not a 'girly girl', nor am I a full-out tomboy.  But I did hang out with my father and his cronies a lot.  Tough men who survived WW2.  I don't recall any issues.  I attended University in (at the time) a predominantly male oriented department.  I teach a lot of young men.  No major issues.   I have had though, more minor issues with other women.  Why is that?

It always makes me wonder at how many 'problems' are created versus 'naturally occurring'.  How many are the result of making a mountain out of a molehill? 

I met a woman who constantly was having issues with men hitting on her.  It was quite appalling.  I was very sympathetic.  Then I started to wonder.  The men she was having issues with?  I had no problem with them.  Not even bad vibes.  One day my office mate said that she was telling him to stop 'bothering her'.  He was very upset.  It hadn't even occurred to him to 'bother her'.  She later told me that yes, he was definitely bothering her.  Well...turns out she was putting a sexual spin on every interaction with these men.  It wasn't deliberate, it was just how she saw her world.  But it resulted in a number of unnecessary and uncomfortable meetings.

Back to women and music careers - I remember reading that Dylana Jensen had to return the violin she had 'bonded with' when she got married.  The lender would only let her keep it if she stayed single and focused on her soloist career.  That man probably belonged to the same school that Zdenka's husband went to.

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

Oh please Rue, you don't know anything about this woman or her husband.

You don't know why she gave up playing, just making assumptions. 

 

And?

I could buy the book...but I'd still be making some assumptions after reading it. The author (daughter) will have had her own take on things - that may or not be accurate either.

How can we have a discourse without making any assumptions? Impossible, no?

Nonetheless...we can make an assumption/s and debate the issue (whatever that may be)...consequently we might make headway. Or, maybe we'd just just be exercising our brains.

Exercise never hurts, right?

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3 minutes ago, Rue said:

BTW...the daughter works with/supports battered women's organizations. Telling? 

About her own experiences, maybe.

I would rather talk about Mucha. His talent is more evident. She was 17 when she posed for him. Her family were certainly well connected. 

I don't doubt her playing ability, but what was her experience of orchestral playing? We need some corroborating evidence, otherwise it's all a romantic fantasy projected onto a poster with a silly caption.

 

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48 minutes ago, Rue said:

And?

I could buy the book...but I'd still be making some assumptions after reading it. The author (daughter) will have had her own rake on things - that may or not be accurate either.

How can we have a discourse without making any assumptions? Impossible, no?

Nonetheless...we can make an assumption/s and debate the issue (whatever that may be)...consequently we might make headway. Or, maybe we'd just just be exercising our brains.

Exercise never hurts, right?

I like you.

 

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Why thank you!  :wub:

We can discuss Mucha.

48 minutes ago, sospiri said:

...

I would rather talk about Mucha. His talent is more evident....

 

What of Mucha would you like to discuss?

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3 hours ago, sospiri said:

About her own experiences, maybe.

I would rather talk about Mucha. His talent is more evident. She was 17 when she posed for him. Her family were certainly well connected. 

I don't doubt her playing ability, but what was her experience of orchestral playing? We need some corroborating evidence, otherwise it's all a romantic fantasy projected onto a poster with a silly caption.

 

It’s amazing how far afield these topics can go. Stephen and Bill are arguing Feminism. You’re steadfastly denying that this child had any potential on the grounds that she willingly gave up her musical career. Yet it is obvious that she had genuine talent, as I have already pointed out. She had a future, but she also had a very definite present. She was going to solo with the Chicago symphony. That’s a real and meaningful accomplishment, and it is most logical that she had a genuine future as a soloist. You mention her orchestral inexperience. Who cares? She was a soloist. How many 17-year olds have orchestral experience in the first decade of the 1900s?

And she was obviously beautiful which is always an asset to a burgeoning career.

conclusions:  1)she had legitimate potential but gave it up because her husband was a short-sighted product of his time.

2) Women have been oppressed all through history, which is littered with examples of gifted women who were denied the opportunity to develop their gifts because’”....that’s not what proper women do.” 
 

3) I am not a feminist. But I don’t argue with history. The more affluent a woman was in society, the more useless she was, because a beautiful and obedient woman was a man’s prized possession.

Instead of the books Stephen suggested, you might consider a brilliant book called,” Galileo’s Daughter” about a brilliant daughter of an enlightened man.

In an ironic twist, the book was written by Dava Sobel. A review of her first book,”Longitude” ( also brilliant and also focusing on oppression, but this time of Class) assumed that “Dava Sobel” was male. Shake my head...

Edited by PhilipKT
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24 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

 Yet it is obvious that she had genuine talent, as I have already pointed out. She had a future, but she also had a very definite present. She was going to sol with the Chicago symphony. That’s a real and meaningful accomplishment, and it is most logical that she had a genuine future as a soloist. You mention her orchestral inexperience. Who cares? She was a soloist. How many 17-year olds have orchestral experience in the first decade of the 1900s?

 

How do you know she was a soloist? 

 

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41 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

 

Instead of the books Stephen suggested, you might consider a brilliant book called,” Galileo’s Daughter” about a brilliant daughter of an enlightened man.

In an ironic twist, the book was written by Dava Sobel. A review of her first book,”Longitude” ( also brilliant and also focusing on oppression, but this time of Class) assumed that “Dava Sobel” was male. Shake my head...

Also Philip I have read both books.

I don't agree that Longitude is about Class oppression. Harrison was always recognised as a genius. Some reviewers probably only skim read the book.

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2 hours ago, sospiri said:

How do you know she was a soloist? 

 

Because, as has been mentioned multiple times, she was about to play the Saint-Saens concerto with Frederick Stock and the Chicago symphony.

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