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She gives me partridges

Bee Wilson: Alma Mahler, 5 November 2015

Malevolent Muse: The Life of Alma Mahler 
by Oliver Hilmes, translated by Donald Arthur.
Northeastern, 360 pp., £29, May 2015, 978 1 55553 789 0
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... life in Vienna behind. One year, Alma and Werfel spent the Christmas holidays with their friend Paul von Zsolnay on the Italian Riviera. Christmas Eve, she told her diary, was happy for the two Jews but ‘very sad’ for her because ‘nobody took any notice of the thirsting Christian woman yearning to bring back her ...

He had it all

Alex Harvey: Fitzgerald’s Decade, 5 July 2018

Paradise Lost: A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald 
by David S. Brown.
Harvard, 424 pp., £21.95, May 2017, 978 0 674 50482 0
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‘I’d Die for You’ and Other Lost Stories 
by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Scribner, 384 pp., £9.99, April 2018, 978 1 4711 6473 6
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... sway. He believed they gave him only his restlessness (after a childhood spent moving between St Paul, Syracuse and Buffalo) and his ability to characterise himself as a Midwesterner, a permanent outsider. But​ Fitzgerald’s literary imagination was also drawn to the new decadent urban set: aggressive bonds traders, flamboyant bootleggers and promiscuous ...

You better not tell me you forgot

Terry Castle: How to Spot Members of the Tribe, 27 September 2012

All We Know: Three Lives 
by Lisa Cohen.
Farrar Straus, 429 pp., £22.50, July 2012, 978 0 374 17649 5
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... in the same impossibly glamorous literary and artistic circles in London, Paris, Manhattan, the Riviera and elsewhere. The now seldom heard phrase ‘café society’ captures something of the social milieu they occupied but does not describe it completely. Cohen’s subjects were rather more intellectually inclined than the ‘café society’ label ...

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