Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Tatiana de Rosnay sur Daphne du Maurier–Video

Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier

Tatiana de Rosnay sur Daphne du Maurier–Video.

Phyllis Grosskurth “was a prickly kind of person”

Phyllis Grosskurth

Phyllis Grosskurth

Diana Hall writes:

Bronwyn Drainie, the former editor of the Literary Review of Canada who came to know Grosskurth as a student in one of her English classes in the late 60s, described her friend as an overall “fascinating character”.

“I think it would be quite hard to find people who say they were close to Phyllis, except for her own family. She was a prickly kind of person,” Drainie said. “I think she enjoyed that. She enjoyed being prickly and controversial.”

Grosskurth, who was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, was “very charismatic,” according to her son Brian. “People were naturally drawn to her, even though she was a forceful personality — but, you know, an attractive personality,” he said about his mother, who he added always had an active academic and social life.

Pamela Hansford Johnson’s “amphetamine addiction is never investigated, nor are the anonymous poison-pen letters…”

Pamela Hansford Johnson in 1949

Pamela Hansford Johnson in 1949

Reviewing Pamela Hansford Johnson: Her Life, Works and Times by Wendy Pollard, Hilary Spurling writes:

“Reviewing the impact of Johnson’s amphetamine addiction is never investigated, nor are the anonymous poison-pen letters she received at intervals for much of her life, nor for that matter Francis King’s suggestion that Snow led a secret life like his friends, the novelist William Cooper and the Cambridge historian J.H. Plumb. All three had been taught at the same Leicester school by the same charismatic schoolmaster, who caused consternation 40 years later when the police threatened to arrest him on charges of paedophilia. A strain of suppressed homosexuality might explain much that remains mysterious about the Snows’ marriage: the aridity of his private life, her ongoing sexual frustration, the bland evasiveness that deadens his fiction, perhaps also the fact that he has had no biography in more than 30 years since his death.”

Anthony Blunt “was a scholar whose only peers could be found in pre-war Germany…”

Anthony Blunt

Anthony Blunt

Reviewing Miranda Carter’s Anthony Blunt: His Lives, Hywel Williams writes:

Blunt was less “gay” than “homosexual”, the more clinical appellation seeming also the more appropriate for so austere an intelligence. Botticelli, Florence and frou-frou had to make way for Borromini, Rome and the baroque in the crepuscular Blunt imagination. He was a scholar whose only peers could be found in pre-war Germany, and in his lectures he could convey the emotion that in private was locked away inside a buried heart. He was generous with his pupils in time and encouragement. And in his scholarly account of Poussin – his true love – he showed an understanding that went beyond that of a detached classical style concerned with merely significant form. He liked the intellectuality of Poussin and his neo-Stoic creed, because he could then relate the works to the way the artist coped with age and loss and disappointment. And these things lived when Blunt spoke – just as in his descriptions of Borromini’s botched suicide or the suffering of the London poor as the background to Blake.

Extract from “Borges: A Life” by Edwin Williamson

foto1

Extract from “Borges: A Life” (2004) with a foreword (2008) and afterword (2008) by Edwin Williamson, a Consulting Editor for Interlitq.