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Princess Diane

Penny Boumelha

21 February 1985
Diane Arbus: A Biography 
by Patricia Bosworth.
Heinemann, 367 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 0 434 08150 7
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Inside the Onion 
by Howard Nemerov.
Chicago, 63 pp., £8.45, April 1984, 0 226 57244 7
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... Sartre, bestow a vertiginous god-like sensation upon the reader, who is thereby placed in a position to exchange knowing looks and indulgent smiles with the author over the heads of the characters. PatriciaBosworth seems to have learned much of her method from the unnamed author of Sartre’s boyhood reading. She is prodigal with knowing looks, though reading the book did little to make me feel like a ...

Just one of those ends

Michael Wood: Apocalypse Regained

13 December 2001
Apocalypse Now Redux 
directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
August 2001
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Marlon Brando 
by Patricia Bosworth.
Weidenfeld, 216 pp., £12.99, October 2001, 0 297 84284 6
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... rebelling against, he replies: ‘What have you got?’ This sounds like a wisecrack, but it became the entirely unironic slogan of a generation. Yet Brando hasn’t just calmed down, realising, as PatriciaBosworth hopefully puts it, ‘with the help of his therapist . . . how his family had been an incubator of psychological violence’. He knew that all along. What the late avatars suggest is that ...

Buy birthday present, go to morgue

Colm Tóibín: Diane Arbus

2 March 2017
Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer 
by Arthur Lubow.
Cape, 734 pp., £35, October 2016, 978 0 224 09770 3
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Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov 
by Alexander Nemerov.
Fraenkel Gallery, 106 pp., $30, March 2015, 978 1 881337 41 6
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... but they don’t seem especially concerned about it. For Lubow, this photograph ‘indelibly evokes … the duality of a human sensibility’. In her biography of Arbus, first published in 1984, PatriciaBosworth notes ‘the freakishness in normalcy, the normalcy in freakishness’ in it. William Todd Schultz, in his An Emergency in Slow Motion: The Inner Life of Diane Arbus (2011), says that Arbus ...

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