Page:The Art of Nijinsky.djvu/26

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NIJINSKY

criticism for information or sound judgment rather than for a verbal réchauffée of an accessible and authentic charm. But in an art which perishes, the mere impression of an observer, however inadequate, may be of value. The written word survives; so that a Vestris dances again in the most fatuous praise of his contemporaries, while even that famous picture in prose by Walter Pater acquires a fresh and thrilling meaning since "Mona Lisa" has vanished from the Louvre.

The aim of this essay, then, is, first and foremost, to preserve an impression. As to its manner, I need only forestall, if it may be, one possible objection. "You call your book," someone might say, "The Art of Nijinsky. Very well. But there are pages and pages occupied with quite extraneous things. . . . We thought to find

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