One was Alexander Scriabin, the Russian composer who underwent. arguably, the most complete transmogrification of any of the major composers; that is, he started out as an unabashed Romantic and ended a short life as a true Mystic, with a completely different harmonic vocabulary from that which he began with - truly, two totally different entities having been created within one being.
His friend, Georgi Plekhanov was also a defining visionary, with his panoramic view forming out of world politics; the result being as powerful a Marxist as Russia ever produced, with his enormous intellectual influence aiding in the swerving of the direction of Mother Russia as it moved through the early 20th century. One can only imagine the sanguine nature of power emanating from these two mouths.
Another visionary I thought about was Woodrow Wilson, a man of enormous attainment arising principally from his indistinguishable conviction about the moral station of America, as he went from professor to president of Princeton to President of his beloved United States.
He took his convictions with him to Clemenceau and Lloyd George after the defeat of Germany in World War I, but did not understand that the hatred of these two leaders toward Germany would defeat the moral aims of Wilson, who did not, or indeed could not hold sway in his view that the power of moral righteousness could prevail over the powers of retribution and revenge.
And so, sadly, I had to admit to myself that, at least from my view, a conversation with Woodrow Wilson might have left me unrequited, with personal vindication based upon the unparalleled tragedies that would come out of Versailles.
Labels: three visionaries