Cultural Crosslinks.

Ibsen's Ghosts

Mein System page 90:
"Weshalb wir gleich drei Offiziere haben 'lebendig' werden lassen? Nun, mit demselben Rechte etwa wie Ibsen, der in der Schlussszene seiner 'Gespenster' die langwierige Abwicklung des Krankheitsprozesses zu einem dramatisch bewegten Auftritt verdichtet hat. Und genauso wie die alltäglichen Kritiker (und auch Ärzte) den armen Ibsen furchtbar angegriffen hatten, weil er das klinische Bild verfälscht habe(!!), genauso werden die entsprechenden Schachkritiker mich einer schweren übertreibung bezichtigen..."
See: Michael Meyer: "Ibsen", page 505-516.

Ghosts -the story of a woman who leaves her husband, is persuaded by the Pastor (whom she loves) to return home, does so, and bears a son who turns out to have inherited his father's syphilis at once aroused a consternation and hostility beyond anything Ibsen had envisaged.

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Eisenstein's Potemkin

"Die Praxis"page 185: "Think for example of the film Potemkin, in which there is only one main protagonist: The mass of people.

Film: Panzerkreuzer Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein, 1925

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Die Praxis, pag 185.

Stanislavsky's teachings inspired the "Method' school of acting which has so greatly influenced the American theatre.

Constantin Stanislavsky: 'My life in Art', 'An Actor's Work on Himself'.

"Stanislavsky's 'system', is an attempt to apply certain natural laws of acting for the purpose of bringing the actor's subconscious powers of expression into play. These laws, Stanislawsky claims, are sufficiently well-defined to be studied and put into practice with the help of psycho-technique, which consists of a large number of 'elements', ten of which - 'if', given circumstances, imagination, attention, relaxation of muscles, pieces and problems, truth and belief, emotional memory, communication and extraneous aids form the core of the famous 'system'.
(From: 'The theory of the modern stage', ed. Bentley, page 233)

A 'system' consisting of about ten 'elements', two books, compare 'My life in art', 'An actor's work on himself', with 'My system', 'The practice of my system'. The likeness is remarkable.

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Max Reinhardt

"Die Praxis: pag 185
Some information on Max Reinhardt I found on this Internet page


Nimzowitsch' references all are to cultural revolutionaries, mainly in the realm of drama. I think this is very significant. Keene cites Nimzowitsch from an autobiographical pamphlet:
"If you wish to achieve results, select a born enemy and attempt to "chastise" him by toppling him from his pedastal....Tarrasch, to me, always meant mediocrity; it is true that he was a very strong player, but all his views, his sympathies and antipathies, and above all his inability to concieve any new idea -all this clearly attested to the full mediocrity of his cast of mind. I myself, who paid homage to genius, could in no way be reconciled to the fact that mediocrity should stand as the leader of the dominant school! This fact, for me, was a veritable outrage!"(R.Keene, Aron Nimzowitsch: A Reappraisal 1974)
This seems to indicate that Nimzowitsch was very much aware of the role played by reformers in diverse fields of interest. Also that to a certain extent he was consciously modeling himself on these examples. Keene relativates Nimzowitsch' chess-martyrdom and points out that even Tarrasch himself rather quickly started playing some of Nimzowitsch' variations once it was proved that they could be succesful.


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