Monday, 30 May 2011


I wonder whether there are not various forms and also degrees of charismata? For example, Marilyn Monroe's type was quite different from Winston Churchill's or Nelson's widely reported form: indeed one reporter noted the reaction of the men onboard Collingwood's HMS Royal Sovereign when the news of Nelson's death reached them, after the battle: "Chaps that fought like the Devil sit down and cry like a wench". Hitler's form of charisma was undeniable but different again and I knew a small, calm, intellectual, demure English woman who had found herself at a rally in the 1930s and, to her amazement, was swept along by him until she too was saluting.

I am sure that, when Lucifer takes human form, he too has this quality as well as being just short of perfectly dressed.

I am sure that charisma is much more evident in real life than from film but, even so, I think that MM's films bring it across and Walter Matthau once related how he had been having a drink with Robert Donat in a London pub when a little old lady came up to them and said to Donat: "You're such a comfort." Maybe that is another type again: a quality that gives us comfort or assurance.

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