The Silent Woman Part 2
Looking back in I950, Kurt Pinthus recalled a Visit to Kokoschkas
studio in Dresden: "On the sofa in Kokoschkas living
room, between the side wall and the long wall, behind the
round table, there it sat - life-size, shimmering white, crowned
with chestnut brown hair, a blue jacket round its shoulders:
the doll, the fetish, the artificial woman, the ideal lover,
the ideal Model."
When Kokoschka was questioned on the matter of his fetish
in I93I/32, he came straight to the point: I wanted to own
a life-size replica of Alma! I sought out the best female
artisan I could find, I saw to it that she was provided with
all Alma's photographs and measurements so that she could
create the doll I had in mind. I waited anxiously for it to
In order to dress it with an equal elegance to Alma's, I
bought dresses and lingerie from the best Parisian houses.
In those days I had an elderly butler working for me and a
young maid named Hulda. The butler got so excited at the thought
at setting eyes on this utterly incredible creature that on
the day the trunk arrived and the two porters carefully began
to unpack the doll, he had a stroke.
When Hulda saw the Schweigsame Frau, the Silent Woman, however,
she was in
seventh heaven, and as for me, I was enraptured! It was just
as beautiful as Alma, even though its breasts and hips were
stuffed with sawdust.
However, the artist denied that he had ever sat in a box
at the opera with the doll and explained that it was not him
but Hulda who was responsible for spreading all those wild
She would tell them to anyone who was willing to listen,
because naturally everyone in Dresden was gossiping about
my strange carryings-on with a doll. Finally, after I had
drawn it and painted it over and over again, I decided to
do away with it. It had managed to cure me completely of my
Passion. So I gave a big champagne Party with chamber music,
during which Hulda exhibited the doll in all its beautiful
clothes for the last time. When dawn broke - I was quite drunk,
as was everyone else - I beheaded it out in the garden and
broke a bottle-of red wine over its head.
The next day, a Police patrol happened to glance through
the gates, and seeing what was apparently the body of a naked
woman covered with blood, they burst into the house suspecting
some crime of passion. And for that matter, that's what it
was... because in that night I had killed Alma... In the grey
morning light the refuse collectors removed Kokoschkas
dream of Eurydice's return.