‘I’ll crush you with my Daimler!’
- Prince Charming: A Memoir by Christopher Logue
Faber, 340 pp, £20.00, September 1999, ISBN 0 571 19768 X
There’s a moment in this book – some time in the 1960s – when Christopher Logue and Adrian Mitchell have been asked to Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk to do a poetry reading. They ring the doorbell and a liveried footman tells them that they should go to the servants’ entrance. ‘I said, let’s leave. “No,” Adrian said. “We’ve come all this way. We’ll earn our money.” ’ They are given high tea in the servants’ hall: two pieces of Spam, sliced bread, margarine, an apple, a piece of seed cake. Water and/or tea to drink. When they are finally invited in to read, ‘Adrian and I decided to give our best ... We read. By best, we meant bluntest. I added a number of “fucks” and “cunts” to otherwise quite decorous poems. Then we left.’
Vol. 22 No. 8 · 13 April 2000
I laughed like a drain all through A.N. Wilson’s review of Christopher Logue’s memoir Prince Charming (LRB, 16 March). It is really quite perfect. But it was only after finishing it, and weak at the knees from mirth, that I realised Wilson was an actual person and that the article was not a send-up of a high-handed, querulous review engineered by the mischievous Logue himself or some arch sub-sub-editor at the LRB. My favourite bits were: ‘Logue is quite a short man – 5l7ll, he says here, but he seems smaller in life.’ And at the end of his piece: ‘I have too many images in my mind of him masturbating in rich men’s lavatories or striking silly beatnikish poses to be able to hold that admirable Logue in focus.’ ‘Admirable Logue’, now there’s a grabber. I know Logue; he’s a miscreant, albeit a very amusing one.