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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Adrift in Austria

Friday, July 17th., Salzburg.

I did no actual writing of my novel, and damned little thinking about it. I just lay about and re-read Hardy's "The Trumpet Major". I wanted to see if my poor impression of this work, from my first reading, was sustained on a re-visit. It was. Occasionally it contains a line of description, or a section of dialogue, that is worthy of the great man but overall it is lightweight and uninteresting. Of course it would never have been published had it not Hardy's name attached, but I suppose the same could be said of some of my lesser works!

I went out and bought some cigars. About 4.30 went up to Hoher Salzburg. A very Margate-ish crowd; indeed the same sort of crowds everywhere. They stream into the town daily. Coming home, I met Kommer; or rather he stopped me and offered me a piece of paper. For a second I didn't know him. He had inquired at all the hotels for me (including this one) without success. He had then gone to the police, who informed him at once that E.A.B. was staying at the Oesterreichischer, and gave him a bit of paper to that effect; this was the paper he was exhibiting to me in the street.

Kommer told us that when he was producing "The Miracle" in Cleveland (staggering success) he could never get any eatable food there. He said that when he and Diana Cooper dined at the house of the richest millionaire in Cleveland, the ices were actually bought at a store - not made in the house. He said that the modesty of Asquith's country house "The Wharfe" was one of the things that struck him most. Said it couldn't happen anywhere else. Asquith had been PM for eight years. He said that in any other country a man who had been PM for eight months would retire rich.

He said he was now working on the German version of  "The Great Adventure" and that Reinhardt would do it in both Berlin and Vienna. Probably some delay as there was a great row between German managers and German stars. The managers had decided that no star should get more than £15 a night and the stars had struck. He said that the actor who took Ilam Carve made as much as £100 a night because he took 25% of the receipts. When I told him the plot of my "Flora", he said it was a sign of a wholesome public that such a plot, so simple, should be certain to arouse protest. He said that in Berlin, if you wanted to make a scandal in a theatre, you had to have a mother committing incest with two sons; one wasn't enough.

Rudolf K. Kommer (1886 in Chernivtsi - 1943 in Manhattan ) was a journalist and impresario , a long time associate of Max Reinhardt. Dr Rudolf Kommer, was the right hand man of the theatre producer Max Reinhardt, in whose production of "The Miracle" Diana Cooper, Duff's wife, starred for ten years between 1924-33.

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