Lucy Moore's profile of infamous Russian dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky skirts a thin line between fanfiction and historical theory. "Nijinsky: A Life" contrasts the practical information of a college thesis with the entertainment value of a bestseller in her most recent offering. It is a historical account of the dancer that takes great novel-esque pains to describe Nijinsky's life and career. She uses both professional and personal sources from Nijinsky's network to flesh out what would otherwise be dry fact. While it cannot compare to Richard Buckle's the book by the same name ("Nijinsky", Avon Books), Moore's profile is an interesting distraction from dry accounts by other authors.
Names are dropped throughout this book as if they were hot. Zelda Fitzgerald to Isadora Duncan to Jean Cocteau to Sarah Bernhardt are mentioned and quoted to lend poignancy to Moore's writing. They speak of everything from Nijinsky's preference for women (despite his history of sleeping with influential men), his ethereal grace and artistry, to his revolutionary contributions to dance. In fact, Moore so fully describes Nijinsky's life that it leaves little to the reader's imagination. Whether appreciated or not, Moore gives the reader no room for interpretation or speculation. For those requiring less structure from their reading experience, this may be a deterrent.
Like life, the novel teeters between moments of action and inaction. Moore includes nourishing little gems of personal information but they are enfolded into long passages of information one could read in any other biography. The bibiography is 12 pages long and is followed by 21 pages of notes and references. If the text isn't to your liking, Moore's collection of sources will send you in the direction towards something that is.
"Nijinsky: A Life"
$6.99 e-book edition