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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

By Golly, The Things You Find On Tumblr!

This photo just popped up on my Tumblr feed to remind me that there is nothing new about hot celebrity guys. This  is Czech violinist and composer Jan Kubelik, who signed this photo in 1902, the year he turned 22 years old. By this time he was well into wildly successful career, selling out concert halls all over Europe and the United States, recording best-selling records, and according to Sally Benson's Kensington Avenue stories (which became the movie Meet Me In St. Louis) had throngs of devoted teenage fans. Carl Sandburg wrote poetry about him:

Your bow swept over a string, and a long low note quivered to the air.
(A mother of Bohemia sobs over a new child perfect learning to suck milk.)

Your bow ran fast over all the high strings fluttering and wild.
(All the girls in Bohemia are laughing on a Sunday afternoon in the hills with their lovers.) 

Well, just look at him, and imagine what it must have been like to see him, this beautiful young thing, passionately playing the violin, which he was very good at.  He must have been like the Justin Bieber of the fin de siecle, minus the bullshit. The year after this photo was taken he married a Hungarian countess and fathered eight children with her. 

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