Beatrix Ost is in love with words. Her taste for great books is matched by her eye for fashion; each piece of art, whether a garment or a novel, yields treasure both precious and profound. Ost shares the stories that nurture her spirit in a literary conversation with MindMeet. Ost, herself an accomplished writer, published two memoirs about her life and travels in Europe prior to emigrating to the United States.
It is almost a symphony of the mind. It is somehow written like music is put together. It has something mathematical. One leads to the other in a spiritual and logical way, so I feel like it’s like jazz to me. It’s jazz of the mind. Exquisite. Right now, I am reading another one of his called Vertigo.
It opens up with an enormous drama. You get into the book and a woman opens her blouse and holds her hand to her bare breast and takes a revolver and puts it there and shoots herself while downstairs a party is going on. It’s one of those nourishers for me. I am reading it again because I feel like I need to remember it. I wrote about it in More than Everything—it opens up a chapter in my own book this is how fascinated by it.
His grasp of what it is to be human is so everyday and so other. We are all kings of our moments. And emperors of our own scenes. There is something also in it that reminds me of my own home.
I love this book very much. It is one’s own growing up. It speaks to all of us about mysteries and belonging and then something goes awry—because it always does. It’s about the secrets of one’s own becoming a grown up.
A Piece of Me tells the story of a young Ost, growing up on her family’s estate in Bavaria in the heyday of the Third Reich. As the Nazi regime cast its shadow over Europe, all manner of strangers turned up at the estate, many of them outcasts uprooted by the war. In A Piece of Me, Ost weaves photos, anecdotes, and fairy tales into a stirring pastiche of life during a dark chapter of the 20th century.
A story of adventure and personal hardship, More than Everything recounts Ost’s coming of age in southern Germany after World War II. Her marriage to Ferdinand Anton, an archaeologist and head of the famous Munich Hot Club, took her to Mexico, where she found inspiration in Aztec mythology and the works of local artists, among them Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. More than Everything is a tale of the triumphs and travails of a life well lived.
Beatrix Ost is an artist, writer, designer, actress, and film and theatre producer who lives in Charlottesville, VA, and New York City. Her other recent book includes The Philosopher’s Style. Beatrix also creates beauty out of bomb fragments by designing jewelry for Article22. Explore more of her creations at Ost Apparel and Shop.Beatrixost.com.