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All about Me

Kevin Kopelson: Don Bachardy, 9 April 2015

Hollywood 
by Don Bachardy.
Glitterati, 368 pp., £45, October 2014, 978 0 9913419 2 4
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... man’ in the fall of 1999. And like the doomed protagonist, George, in the novel A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood, I too was gay; I too was an English professor (on a one-term sabbatical back then); I too was middle-aged (at 39 years old then, whereas George is 58); I too was living in Los Angeles (although my teaching position is in Iowa City); I too ...

Tiff and Dither

Michael Wood, 2 January 1997

Diaries. Vol. I: 1939-60 
by Christopher Isherwood, edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Methuen, 1048 pp., £25, October 1996, 0 413 69680 4
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... make art out of self-effacement. This at least is one of the suggestions of the first volume of Christopher Isherwood’s Diaries, a whingeing, inward-bound mammoth of a book, where the author laboriously chronicles and inspects his every moment for changes in the moral and spiritual weather. Well, it can’t be his every moment, but it feels like it. Here ...

Neglect

Ian Hamilton, 26 January 1995

An Unmentionable Man 
by Edward Upward.
Enitharmon, 102 pp., £5.99, October 1994, 1 870612 64 7
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Journey to the Border 
by Edward Upward.
Enitharmon, 135 pp., £5.99, October 1994, 1 870612 59 0
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The Mortmere Stories 
by Christopher Isherwood and Edward Upward.
Enitharmon, 206 pp., £7.99, October 1994, 1 870612 69 8
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... his book. And yet Upward, when he started out, was highly regarded as a joker. In Christopher Isherwood’s Lions and Shadows, he appears as ‘Allen Chalmers’, the brilliantly mischievous co-inventor of Mortmere, ‘a sort of anarchist paradise in which all accepted moral and social values are turned upside down’. Isherwood and Upward ...

Unaccommodated Man

Christopher Tayler: Adventures with Robert Stone, 18 March 2004

Bay of Souls 
by Robert Stone.
Picador, 250 pp., £16.99, February 2004, 0 330 41894 7
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... and his main academic interest is something he calls ‘literary vitalism’: ‘Frank Norris, Dreiser, Kate Chopin, James Branch Cabell’. As he sees it, these writers traffic in ‘the purifying effect of struggle’, all ‘Eros and Thanatos’ and ‘solitary acts of personal liberation’. Teaching Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of ...

Yawning and Screaming

John Bayley, 5 February 1987

Jane Austen 
by Tony Tanner.
Macmillan, 291 pp., £20, November 1986, 0 333 32317 3
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... The past is there to be made use of, and everyone makes use of it in his own way. Christopher Hill and E.P. Thompson invent alternative Englands where radical social experiments were nipped in the bud by the entrenched forces of reaction, while T.S. Eliot’s successors imagine devout cavaliers preserving a unified sensibility in economic and spiritual matters ...

The Person in the Phone Booth

David Trotter: Phone Booths, 28 January 2010

... in D’Olier Street while he presented himself indecently to the instrument in the callbox’. In Christopher Isherwood’s Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935), the homosexual Baron Kuno von Pregnitz, pursued by the police on charges of political corruption, locks himself in panic into a cubicle in a public lavatory. Next ...

Superchild

John Bayley, 6 September 1984

The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Vol. V: 1936-1941 
edited by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew McNeillie.
Chatto, 402 pp., £17.50, June 1984, 0 7012 0566 0
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Deceived with Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood 
by Angelica Garnett.
Chatto, 181 pp., £9.95, August 1984, 0 7011 2821 6
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... Virginia Woolf wants to pull down the factory, to operate face to face in the open air. Christopher Isherwood, in some ways her most affectionate and enthusiastic disciple, went through the motions of restating her formula at the outset of some of his own fictions. He is the passive recording camera. Of course nothing could be less true of the ...

Ismism

Evan Kindley: Modernist Magazines, 23 January 2014

The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume I: Britain and Ireland 1880-1955 
edited by Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker.
Oxford, 976 pp., £35, May 2013, 978 0 19 965429 1
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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume II: North America 1894-1960 
edited by Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker.
Oxford, 1088 pp., £140, July 2012, 978 0 19 965429 1
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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume III: Europe 1880-1940 
edited by Peter Brooker, Sascha Bru, Andrew Thacker and Christian Weikop.
Oxford, 1471690 pp., £145, March 2013, 978 0 19 965958 6
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... Spasm and Whims promoted a Wildean cult of decadence, and were mocked by the naturalist Frank Norris in his novel The Octopus as ‘little toy magazines’. Symbolist-inspired bibelots appeared in Berlin, St Petersburg, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Alexandria and elsewhere. Around the same time, the market for publications was exploding. It’s estimated that ...

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