Interview mit Joshua Sobol
What is a Polydrama?
Our experience with the audience
Genesis of the play
Alma - a monster of the 20th century
No creative energy without
sexual energy

Mother figure or femme fatale?
Alma's relation to Judaism
Love at first sight: Alma's men
Alma's sacrifice for Mahler
An epitomy of the 20th century
The curse of Alma's Autobiography
The encounter between
Mahler and Freud


No creative energy without sexual energy

Paulus Manker
Talking about Alma we are not allowed to omit her sexual importance for people she lived with, and you once said that there is no creative energy without sexual energy.

Joshua Sobol
It is obvious that sexuality played a very important part in Alma´s life, and in her relationship with her men. Take only the description of the terrible failure that Mahler had with her, which marked probably their relationship for the rest of their common life for seven or eight years, and which made of her a terrible frustrated woman in her marriage with Mahler.


Then the value that she attaches to the sexual experience that she had with Gropius, although she is comouflaging it, and putting it into very poetic terms, speaking about their remaining awake until the nightingale song broke with dawn etc. - you know, all that stuff. But she is speaking about their bodies mingling, and the experience of their souls mixing together, whilst their bodies are... so, anyway, it is obvious. And then the description of the meeting between Kokoschka and Alma, their immediate falling in love with one another on first sight. The next thing which happened was, that Alma stepped into his studio, into his atelier. There was another woman there who was painting, working in his atelier. And Alma stepped in, and the first thing she did was to grab the easel and the paint of that other painter, and she threw it out from the atelier. An act of aggressive possessiveness when she entered the atelier, and she said: "That is mine!" And from that moment all what happened is, that they had sex in a very wild rhythm, so to speak, and he was painting and making love to her all the time, intermittendly. The experience with Werfel also starts with a very bloody sexual experience, that terrible story of the sex they had that wild night, where Baby Martin was, so to speak, kicked out of her womb through sexual intercourse with Werfel.


So you see that sex played a very important part in her life. She probably aroused her partners, and made them feel very potent. She probably ingretiated their feelings of masculinity, and gave them a feeling that they were of great value. And I think that for every human being it is important to feel that sexually he is being or she is beeing accepted, and not only accepted but appreciated. This is important. It is important for animals, of course. That´s what all the fighting is about amongst animals. Because I believe that artistic activity has a lot to do with animal life, not less than with intellectual life. I think that our artistic urges come from our animal soul, from our "Anima", and from that part of ourselves which is the part which makes the nightingale sing or which makes the doves croon, the pigeons croon or - god knows - which make the goats bellow. That´s where music comes from. It is an expression of the sexual instinct, and the sexual urge.


And I think, that is where writing comes from. We try to achieve with our words what we sometimes cannot achieve with our bodies. Because words are illimited, and you can let your imagination run free. Artistic creation is a tranformation of voice, anyway. Either by music or by colours or by words or by movement. But it is our voice that comes out, and the voice has basicly to do with sexuality. With the announcement "I am here and I am ready" or "I am here and where are you?" Which is the beginning of any language. So I believe what Kokoschka said about Alma: that one night with Alma gave him energy for an entire week of creative work. She was not sucking him up, but pumping energy into him. That was his description for the sexual experience with Alma. I think that probably she had that gift to make her partners feel that they have to go and give full expression to those voices that she aroused in them. What I am trying to explain here may seem"mystical", but I do believe that it is not mystical shit, that it is mystical truth about what she did to her partners. And we have the testimonies about it.