Irene Worth - The Old Chevalier - Isak Dinesen - 1978 Spoken Word LP
The Old Chevalier-From Seven Gothic Tales-By Isak Dinesen
Read by Irene Worth
Caedmon, USA 1978
Vinyl is Mint. Cover is VG+ with some light ring wear, still partially in shrink wrap .
SIDE A: Run time 32:01
SIDE B: Run time 29:55
ABOUT THE OLD CHEVALIER:
In "The Old Chevalier" Isak Dinesen tells another story about a failed love affair. A man becomes involved with a prostitute who has never offered herself for money before; the girl is an innocent, trading favors for shelter. He falls in love, but she remains oblivious to his passion. She leaves after their encounter, without emotional involvement, as if she has completed a task. The story offers an opinion about independent women: "most women, when they feel free to experiment with life, will go straight to the witches' Sabbath. I myself respect them for it, and do not think that I could ever really love a woman who had not, at some time or other, been up on a broomstick"(SGT 87). Isak Dinesen may be implying that the only really interesting women are those who dare to think for themselves and to defy society.
Seven Gothic Tales was poorly received in Denmark where the fantastical stories clashed with the preferred realism of the times. The sexual symbolism was said to be perverse, and the stories, set a century earlier, were pronounced decadent. But Isak Dinesen's American audience loved them and eagerly awaited the next work by the mysterious Danish author.
ABOUT IRENE WORTH:
Irene Worth (1916-2002) was a greatly respected American stage star. She was a teacher before deciding to become an actor, making her first professional appearance in 1942. A year later, she made her New York debut in The Two Mrs Carrolls. Seeking a classical training, she went to London in 1944. She played Celia Coplestone in the first performance of The Cocktail Party at the 1949 Edinburgh Festival. With Alec Guinness & Tyrone Guthrie, she helped found the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival in 1953.
From the 1960s, she played important roles in both American & British productions that included, on Broadway, the enigmatic seductress in Tiny Alice (1964), Princess Kosmonopolis in Sweet Bird of Youth (1975) and Grandma in Lost in Yonkers (1991). For all three performances she won a Tony Award.
In his obituary of her in The Washington Post, Martin Weil described Irene Worth as an actress of penetrating intelligence who was worshipped by colleagues and critics.