All about Me

Kevin Kopelson

  • Hollywood by Don Bachardy
    Glitterati, 368 pp, £45.00, October 2014, ISBN 978 0 9913419 2 4

I too was ‘a single man’ in the fall of 1999. And like the doomed protagonist, George, in the novel A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood, I too was gay; I too was an English professor (on a one-term sabbatical back then); I too was middle-aged (at 39 years old then, whereas George is 58); I too was living in Los Angeles (although my teaching position is in Iowa City); I too was heartbroken (whereas George has just lost a long-term but considerably younger lover in a car accident, I’d lost my only somewhat younger lover in a break-up). I was writing a book – never to be published – on Proust, or rather on the act of writing such a book. I was reading – and then reviewing for this very publication – a biography of Franz Liszt by Alan Walker.[*] I was also reading – for amusement – the biography of Lytton Strachey by Michael Holroyd and one of Dorothy Parker by Marion Meade.

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[*] Kevin Kopelson’s article about Liszt was published in the LRB of 18 May 2000.