Schoenberg was substantially self-taught, though Zemlinsky, met at age 20, was an important mentor, and Mahler considered him his protégé. He was backed by Strauss for a teaching post, while Kandinsky enthusiastically included his paintings and writings in Blaue Reiter ventures. Milhaud (who visited with Poulenc) and Varèse were strong and admiring friends. Berg, Webern, Eisler, Cage and Harrison were among his students. Mann, a Los Angeles friend, modelled a fictional composer partly on Schoenberg, leading to a famous spat. He told Brecht how a donkey taught him, and played tennis with Gershwin.