Think of me Dorle and always in the best way: Letters from Toscanini

“Think of me Dorle and always in the best way,” reads the inscription.

Next week, we will return to the saga of John Franklin Carter, Dorle’s Hiterlist lover, but here are a few excerpts from the nearly illegible letters to her from Arturo Toscanini, which I found a month or so ago at the Library for the Performing Arts. Toscanini was married at the time.

First, two telegrams from 1932 sent to the SS. Isle de France on which Dorle was crossing the Atlantic.

“Thanks for the gardenias. What a pity we are not together. Love from your friend, Toscanini.”

“Thousand time during the crossing happened the same to me, tante carezze.”
“Tante carezze” means many embraces, but I have no way of knowing what was the “same.”

Second, bits I could read from his nearly illegible letters to her in 1933.

“DORLE, DORLE, DORLE!” (in melodramatic capitals)
“I cannot help myself to say that I loved my sweet Dorle.”
“Yesterday after my concert, I have seen your beautiful eyes well with tears. I was happy because it meant that you have been satisfied with the program, with the music, with my poor self.”
“Dearest friend, how I would like to kiss your sweet lips and embrace you with love.”
“Please destroy my last letter.”

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