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The Wrong Blond

Alan Bennett, 23 May 1985

Auden in Love 
by Dorothy Farnan.
Faber, 264 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 571 13399 1
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... yet made it to playgroup, Chester Kallman had turned 18 and was a junior at Brooklyn College. As Dorothy Farnan describes him, ‘he was naturally blond, about five feet 11 in height, slender, weighing about 145 pounds with gray-blue eyes, pale flawless skin, a Norse skull, Latin lips and straight narrow nose’ – a description that smacks both of the ...


John Lanchester, 16 November 1995

Sons of Ezra: British Poets and Ezra Pound 
edited by Michael Alexander and James McGonigal.
Rodopi, 183 pp., $23.50, July 1995, 90 5183 840 9
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‘In Solitude, for Company’: W.H. Auden after 1940 
edited by Katherine Bucknell and Nicholas Jenkins.
Oxford, 338 pp., £40, November 1995, 0 19 818294 5
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by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Heinemann, 406 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 434 17507 2
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Wystan and Chester: A Personal Memoir of W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman 
by Thekla Clark.
Faber, 130 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 0 571 17591 0
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... has famously been drawn on in these pages in Alan Bennett’s ‘The Wrong Blond’, a review of Dorothy Farnan’s memoir Auden in Love; Davenport-Hines, I told myself, might well be less indulgent. As it happens, I was dead wrong: Auden is a work of impassioned praise, less a biography than a literary essay with a biographical structure. It is not ...

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