February 9, 2012

Loving Frank Lloyd Wright

[Taliesen I]
Although I love reading for leisure, I haven't found much time for it in the past several years. I've always loved the Los Angeles Public Library system - the libraries are such beautiful places to sit and enjoy books. The LAPL allows you to borrow e-books and download them onto your computer and/or Kindle. You have 21 days to read the book before it's returned, and that's the kick in the pants I needed to read regularly and often. The only downside is that you're on a waitlist for most books and you're on them quite a while before it's your turn.

I finished my first book a few days ago. I read Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. The book is mostly told from the perspective of Mamah, Frank Lloyd Wright's 2nd partner (they never married). Though the book fictionalizes the story, Mamah and Frank did have a love affair that was considered shocking and scandalous at the time. I've probably never completed a book about love affairs - I stand firmly against cheating on your spouse and it would depress me. The book carried a sad undertone throughout - doomed love tends to do that. However, there were some really lovely passages:

Frank tells Mamah, "I've never been like other people. Not other fathers, not other businessmen. I have never fit into any social norm. And you know what? I don't want to." Frank seemed tuned to an interior compass. There was no arrogance or braggadocio. This was the wise, fearless mans he had fallen in love with.

Ellen Key, Mamah's mentor/employer speaks, "Love is moral even without legal marriage. But marriage is immoral without love... A marriage consummated without mutual love, or continued without mutual love, does not elevate the personal dignity of man or woman. It is instead a criminal counterfeiting of the highest values of life... I want to talk to you today about the nobles type of love- the kind that joins the spiritual with the erotic. When both lovers yearn to become entirely one being, to free each other and to develop each other to the greatest perfection, this is the highest form of love possible between a man and a woman of the same moral and intellectual level."

There were some particularly good stuff at the end of the book when Mamah and Frank are older. It peeks beyond the infatuation and romantic relationship they have and shows glimpses of a earthier, imperfect relationship. However, I still don't have the hang of the Kindle, and I couldn't go back and find it once I passed it...

In the book, there are several mentions of different structures Frank Lloyd Wright built, and I was curious to see them after I was done, including:
[Edwin and Mamah Cheney's House]
[Frank Lloyd Wright's Home & Studio]


Taliesen (above)

[Midway Gardens - no longer in existence: ( ]

No comments:

Post a Comment