Top Five books about the Lost Generation
Anderson, Margaret: My Thirty Years' War ; New York: Horizon Press, 1969. describes many artists: Pound, Cocteau, Duchamp, Jane Heap, Stein, Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Picasso, Antheil, etc.
Hemingway: A Moveable Feast
The Life and Music of George Antheil, 1900-1959, Linda Whitesitt, 1981. Dissertation at University of Maryland, published by UMI Research Press.
Four Lives in Paris, Hugh Ford. North Point Press, San Francisco, 1987.
Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation, Noel Riley Fitch. W. W. Norton, 1983.
"He was one of the people who made the whole world know about America.
Did you know that? Yes, George Antheil. From Trenton!"
- Legendary radio host Jean Shepherd, 1959
I had never heard piano playing like it. He was a mixture of frenzy and precision which went far beyond conventional virtuosity. A machine seemed to be playing the keys. Unbelievably difficult and complex rhythms were combined ...
Dynamics and tempos were taken to extremes. It was a stunning success. Antheil took a bow.
- Critic H. H. Stuckenschmidt
Stravinskys music, hard, cold, unsentimental, enormously brilliant and virtuous [virtuosic?] was now the favorite of my postadolescence. In a different way it achieved the hard, cold, postwar flawlessness which I myself wanted to attain-but in an entirely different style, medium...
-Antheil, writing in his autobiography
I envied George his freedom from academic involvements, the bravado of his music, and its brutal charm.
-Composer Virgil Thomson, from his autobiography
All were fascinated by Antheils cheerful lack of modesty. He was in fact the literary minds idea of a musical genius: bold, bumptious, and self-confident.
-Composer Virgil Thomson, from his autobiography, 1966, on meeting Antheil in Paris in the 20s.
After her divorce [...] Miss Lamarr went to a Hollywood party at the home of Janet Gaynor and there met George Antheil, the composer. Miss Lamarr and Antheil got to talking about the war and how tough it was going to be to stop the Nazis.
As the story goes, Miss Lamarr recalled hearing some conversations that had occurred between her first husband, Mr. Mandl, and the Nazis, who seemed to place great value on creating some sort of device that would permit the radio control of airborne torpedoes and reduce the danger of jamming. She and Antheil got to discussing all this. The idea, they decided, was to defeat jamming efforts by sending synchronized radio signals on various wavelengths to missiles, which could then be directed to hit their mark.
Antheil supplied the technical expertise for the concept and on Aug. 11, 1942, the two received a United States patent for the use of radio-controlled missiles that could be used against the Germans. There were some doubts that Miss Lamarr had the technical background to give much to the project, but Antheil always credited her. The government was not initially interested in their device, but a refined version of it was used by the American military in the 1960s - after the patent had expired. They never made a dime. In 1996 they were honored for their work by a professional engineering society. Its about time, was Miss Lamarrs only comment.
The New York Times: obituary for Hedy Lamarr, by Richard Severo, Jan 20, 2000.
George had Paris by the ear
-Composer Aaron Copland
Afterwards, when the piece is over, when youve stood up, taken your bow, and sat down again, when youve wiped your forehead, and your very important hands, you think: I wish I were a professional boxer, the next round against the Steinway would be much more comfortable wearing shorts.
-George Antheil (Autobiography)
George Antheil certainly has genius. I do not believe that he has arrived at the definitive formulation of his art. What he is presently giving us are rather his studies, his researches, which are very close to those of Picasso: without concession, as far as he can in a domain that is often arid. However, I have already been permitted to enjoy the absolutely new pathos of it, the uprooting rhythm, a joyful drunkenness of contradiction, a private discovery such as children sing to themselves--It seems to me that his music has a great and salutary influence upon the body; Jean Prévost accurately compares it to sports. Like the Tibetan and Mongol rhythms that Antheil has studied a great deal, it drives out demons and fixes gods without asking them for their opinion.
-Les Gazettes d'Adrienne Monnier, translated by Richard McDougall, as The Very Rich Hours of Adrienne Monnier, Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1976
You know, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was play Antheil ... at 7 oclock in the morning. Id be guilty of somebody stabbing themselves in the eye with their own toothbrush...
-Radio Host Robert J. Lurtsema