More Than Everything
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More Than Everything

My Voyage with the Gods of Love
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Beatrix Ost
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A proper young girl defies her family and gambles everything—or more than everything—on love. And she loses.

“Beatrix uses words like she uses paint. . .with brush strokes so vivid and rich I feel as if I’m there watching as her story unfolds. I love this book!” –Sissy Spacek

Beatrix Ost’s memoir of her artistic awakening and early marriage opens on the heels of Germany’s recovery from the self-imposed disasters of World War II. She is part of the new generation that dances disobediently in the bombed-out villas and underground jazz caverns of Munich. Beatrix rides the dynamic decade up through the world of art, fashion, and cinema into the revolution of politics and consciousness.

Marriage to the self-made prodigy and archaeologist, Ferdinand, impresario of the Hot Club, draws her into the mystical realm of the ancient Mexican gods. Soon, two sons are born. They make an odyssey through Mexico where, under the wing of the artistic elite, their homes full of Riveras and Kahlos, the initial impression is intoxicating. But the further they press inland, the more Ferdinand loses himself in his obsession and addictions.

Ost draws us into the vortex of human craving to portray the complexities of her early marriage to a man scarred by the war, climbing the magical mountain of his own desires.

Accompanied by the author’s artwork and photographs from her private collection, Ost “…shakes free of an impossibly dark life as the wife of an alcoholic…brushes off the stardust of romance and, stepping back in the light, comes into her own.” (Barbara Epler, President, New Directions Publishing)

Before We Begin 6


The Sphere 9
A tale of innocence

A Farewell 18
Father’s dream of Africa

The Bird of Paradise Dress 25
How a young former officer became our family’s familiar

My Sister Becomes a Beast 40
Shoving a fiancé off to America

Hammer or Anvil 49
A saffron dress, a marital blessing


The Letter-Writer 57
They never doubted my cleverness

Black and White 70
Beauty causes a car accident

Coffeehouse Culture 76
There I saw him for the first time

The Villa 83
We became creatures of the demimonde

The Raft 89
The infallible omnipotent finger into the future

Love 98
A sandstorm of grandiose words

The Mother 112
They were accomplices

Proper Lies 119
Love is a powerful, moody god

The Song of Irresponsibility 130
The listener falls for the storyteller

Chaos Takes Over Order 137
Robust reality holds the thread of happiness

Elixir of Personal Freedom 145
The ampule in the desk drawer

Bob 157
Probably even the sofa is pregnant

Sympathy for the Object of Contempt 164
A kind of Machiavellian footnote

Smoky Language of the Wind 172
She carries a knife of obsidian at her breast


The Journey 183
Mankind must sacrifice its treasures to the gods

Ciudad de Mexico 193
Self-dramatization as an art form

Yo creo que es el 198
She called him Ixtla Octli

The Black Bull 209
God of seduction, pain and plaisir

The Castillo 226
Our wedding of Eros and Despair

What I Still Wanted to Say 241

A Thank-You Note 247

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