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Reményi again


Photograph of Reményi early in his career. He was always passionate about his Magyar heritage.

A couple entries ago, I introduced Edouard Reményi as a likely visitor to Agincourt and also discussed the notion of itinerancy. By a stroke of luck, Reményi was one of those vagabonds who left a sketchy trail.

Within eight years of his passing, friends and family of the artist gathered recollections of him; less that a biography but far more than might have been written about his passing in San Francisco. The introduction lays out a behavior that suits our purposes:

“His movements were always mysterious. There would be long silences; then would come detailed reports of his death. How many times was he shipwrecked, captured by savages and assassinated! How many times was he reported deserted and dying in strange countries! Soon, however, he would be announced as playing in some place on the far edge of the world — always happy, always finding something beautiful, always a roamer, always a gypsy.” [from: Reményi, Musician and Man (1906)]

If rural northwestern Iowa qualifies as “the far edge of the world,” we’ve found our man.

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