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First of all, these diaries are beautifully and ably edited by Katherine Bucknell, providing a fascinating introduction of over fifty pages. In addition to the journals themselves, Bucknell delivers an Isherwood chronology, glossary, and index at the end. She divides the journal into three parts: The Emigration, January 19,1939–December 31, 1944; The Postwar Years, January 1, 1945–April 13, 1956; and The Late Fifties, April 14, 1956–August 26, 1960. The voice of Isherwood evolves from that of a
I'm not 'currently reading' it because I don't have an aim to finishing it anytime soon. I think I'll just dip into it off and on, when I need a break from other things. The very first page brought me right back to 'Christopher and His Kind,' and reminded me how much I love the way Isherwood writes about himself (the self-knowledge that comes with utter detachment) and the sharp but patient and tender way he anatomizes the motives of others. And the prose! It's no wonder that Cyril Connolly prai...
Fabulous! Not only did Isherwood write incredibly interesting diaries (and this only goes up to 1960), but he seems to have known everyone of any consequence whatsoever. And he seems to have read everything of any consequence whatsoever. What a mind! The editor provides an exemplary introduction and an exhaustive, invaluable glossary, which is especially in ascertaining who's who and what's what. The research done for the glossary alone is stupendous. Since these are diaries, the reader can dip
After hearing and reading about him for so many years, I only recently actually read something by Christopher Isherwood - The Berlin Stories, which is such a wonderful book it made me want to read more of his work. Being related to Bloomsbury and the American post-WWII scene, I was curious to read his diaries. And I liked it; he led an interesting life and was friends with lots of interesting people, from Auden and Greta Garbo to Aldous Huxley and Ivan Moffatt. But I was hoping for more, somehow...
An ideal tanning read, if only we'd had more nice days this summer
I started this hefty volume a few months after 911 and finished it eight years later. It is dense and can be tedious, however it is a fascinating and valuable look into the daily life of a pivotal gay writer. I loved the mixture of the mundane and the creative; complaints about the noise of the next-door-neighbor children, bouts of insecurity around his lover Don, procrastinating writing, discovering pacifism, drunken cocktail parties, his spiritual practices. It is a worthwhile read, 'especiall...
For some, it might come across as gossipy. malicious, bitchy and self serving. However, the man wrote in his diary for almost sixty years!! Many times about his fears. The book states that the qualities of intense engagement and commitment were more important to Isherwood than any other, it's evident.
A fascinating look at the life of an opening gay man in Los Angeles from the 40s through 60s. I love the mundane nature of so many of the entries (i.e, I'm feeling fat today). While too much for me to read straight through, this one sat on my bedside table for a year or so and I would turn to it periodically.
What I learned from this book - avoid hypochondriac compulsive diarists.
"Goodbye to Berlin" is one of my favorite books. Reading that made me want to write.