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Getting on

Humphrey Carpenter, 18 July 1985

In the Dark 
by R.M. Lamming.
Cape, 230 pp., £8.95, June 1985, 9780224022927
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A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory 
by Isabel Colegate.
Hamish Hamilton, 153 pp., £8.95, June 1985, 0 241 11532 9
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Midnight Mass 
by Peter Bowles.
Peter Owen, 190 pp., £8.95, June 1985, 0 7206 0647 0
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The Silver Age 
by James Lasdun.
Cape, 186 pp., £8.95, July 1985, 0 224 02316 0
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The House of Kanze 
by Nobuko Albery.
Century, 307 pp., £9.95, June 1985, 0 7126 0850 8
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... some lesser piece of Frederic Raphael university-and-after, not Colegate territory at all. Paul Bowles’s short stories concentrate almost entirely on sense of place, or at least of place dominating character and directing it. Bowles has lived for many years in Tangier, and most of the stories are set there. The opening ...

Avoid the Orient

Colm Tóibín: The Ghastly Paul Bowles, 4 January 2007

Paul BowlesA Life 
by Virginia Spencer Carr.
Peter Owen, 431 pp., £19.95, July 2005, 0 7206 1254 3
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... Long before the sin of Orientalism was discovered, Paul Bowles had frequently been guilty of it, in word, in thought and in deed. In his first stories, for example, the natives are shining examples of naked otherness, created partly to refresh our view concerning the mixture of simplicity, guile and sexual beauty available in remote places ...

Puffed up, Slapped down

Rosemary Hill: Charles and Camilla, 6 September 2017

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life 
by Sally Bedell Smith.
Michael Joseph, 624 pp., £25, April 2017, 978 0 7181 8780 4
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The Duchess: The Untold Story 
by Penny Junor.
William Collins, 320 pp., £20, June 2017, 978 0 00 821100 4
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... subject since 1987, when her first biography of Charles resulted in a writ from Andrew Parker Bowles. She assures us that they laugh about it now. It would be easier to feel sorry for Charles if he didn’t feel so intensely and publicly sorry for himself. One of the British words Smith has to explain to her American readers is ‘whingeing’. Yet he has ...

If Only Analogues...

Ange Mlinko: Ginsberg Goes to India, 20 November 2008

A Blue Hand: The Beats in India 
by Deborah Baker.
Penguin US, 256 pp., £25.95, April 2008, 978 1 59420 158 5
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... had just left jail. Gregory Corso was bumming around Europe, urging Ginsberg and his boyfriend Peter Orlovsky to sail with him to India to find his now ex-girlfriend Hope Savage. The married Beats, Gary Snyder and Joanne Kyger, were studying Zen in Kyoto but planned a pilgrimage to India to see the birthplace of Buddhism. It’s hard to imagine how such ...

At Home in the Huntington

John Sutherland: The Isherwood Archive, 10 June 1999

... boost with John van Druten’s adaptation in 1951 of the Berlin stories (principally ‘Sally Bowles’): I am a Camera was a hit in New York and London (Isherwood, as ‘originator’, was on a 2.5 per cent royalty) and was filmed, starring Laurence Harvey, in 1955. Cabaret, the musical version, opened in New York in 1966 and was filmed in ...

Four Funerals and a Wedding

Andrew O’Hagan: If something happens to me…, 5 May 2005

... him, isn’t he?’ my granny would say. ‘Always had a dark side. Probably got it from his uncle Peter. He was like that as well. Morbid.’ ‘You’re just trying to draw attention to yourself,’ my father would say. ‘If something ever happens to you, I suppose you’ll want one of them statues to yourself up in the Glasgow Necropolis.’ ‘Yes,’ I ...

Falling in love with Lucian

Colm Tóibín: Lucian Freud’s Outer Being, 10 October 2019

The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth, 1922-68 
by William Feaver.
Bloomsbury, 680 pp., £35, September 2019, 978 1 4088 5093 0
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... later, Freud cut the Spender poems out of the book, ‘deeming them superfluous’.) Peter Watson, who funded Horizon, also began to enjoy Freud’s company. ‘He helped me very much, looked at my pictures and bought things and gave me money and books,’ Freud said. ‘He had pictures that I liked and learned from, very good things … He had a ...

Emily v. Mabel

Susan Eilenberg: Emily Dickinson, 30 June 2011

Lives like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Virago, 491 pp., £9.99, April 2011, 978 1 84408 453 1
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Dickinson: Selected Poems and Commentaries 
by Helen Vendler.
Harvard, 535 pp., £25.95, September 2010, 978 0 674 04867 6
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... as a joke), and again (more disturbingly) in sending obscurely sinister, bullying letters to Mrs Bowles, wife of the editor of the Springfield Republican on whom Dickinson had turned an uncomfortable warmth. The problems that most interest Gordon, however, are Dickinson’s reclusiveness and her brother’s adultery. The reason for the first seems to Gordon ...

I adore your moustache

James Wolcott: Styron’s Letters, 24 January 2013

Selected Letters of William Styron 
edited by Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin.
Random House, 643 pp., £24.99, December 2012, 978 1 4000 6806 7
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... English school, now a financial officer at the ad agency whose long name still ends in Benton and Bowles. That little rat, Jerzy R. Kosinski, thought Conrad was a good subject to bring up with him, but it didn’t interest him very much. All the while, host Bill Styron looking a bit subdued as usual these days; we talked about Randall Jarrell’s possible ...

Pomenvylopes

Mark Ford: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts, 18 June 2014

The Gorgeous Nothings 
by Emily Dickinson.
New Directions, 255 pp., £26.50, October 2013, 978 0 8112 2175 7
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The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping 
by Francis Nenik, translated by Katy Derbyshire.
Readux, 64 pp., £3, October 2013, 978 3 944801 00 1
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... there is a life-size image of the two-inch stub of pencil that Dickinson sent to Samuel Bowles, the editor of the Springfield Republican (in which ‘Safe in their alabaster chambers’ was published anonymously under the title ‘The Sleeping’). Behold again the trinity of relics being staged for our contemplation: the pocket-envelope of ...

Scoop after Scoop

Ian Jack: Chapman Pincher’s Scoops, 4 June 2014

Dangerous to Know: A Life 
by Chapman Pincher.
Biteback, 386 pp., £20, February 2014, 978 1 84954 651 5
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... Dilhorne, George Weidenfeld, Maurice Oldfield, Victor Rothschild, Lord Porchester, Andrew Parker Bowles: ideally they should be highlighted in bold type, as was the way in the Hickey column. The author lets us know a little about each. Mountbatten may have had an affair with Barbara Cartland; Prince Michael of Kent worked for British intelligence; Duncan ...

I Could Sleep with All of Them

Colm Tóibín: The Mann Family, 6 November 2008

In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story 
by Andrea Weiss.
Chicago, 302 pp., £14.50, May 2008, 978 0 226 88672 5
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... that Auden had established in Brooklyn with Carson McCullers, Gypsy Rose Lee, Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Chester Kallman, Paul Bowles and Jane Bowles, among others, he wrote in his diary: ‘What an epic one could write about this!’ Soon Golo too moved in, having escaped from the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2000, 25 January 2001

... in the recent RA exhibition is hard to understand. 17 January. The Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker-Bowles come to The Lady in the Van. Normally royalty is guaranteed to put a frost on an audience but their presence peps things up and it’s a very good house. This is because, unlike most royal persons, the Prince of Wales actually laughs and loudly too and so ...

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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... at some of the A-list names cropping up regularly in All We Know: Maude Adams (the first Peter Pan); the Russian film star Alla Nazimova (a teetering Salomé in the ultra-campy cinematic 1923 version of Wilde’s play); Isadora Duncan, the bisexual modern dancer; the interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe and her Broadway-producer lover Bessie ...

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