Isherwood on Writing: The Lectures in California

Isherwood on Writing: The Lectures in California

Christopher Isherwood James J. Berg Claude J. Summers Claude Summers / Dec 11, 2019

Isherwood on Writing The Lectures in California In the s Christopher Isherwood gave an unprecedented series of lectures at California universities on the theme A Writer and His World During this time Isherwood who would liberate the memoir an

  • Title: Isherwood on Writing: The Lectures in California
  • Author: Christopher Isherwood James J. Berg Claude J. Summers Claude Summers
  • ISBN: 9780816646937
  • Page: 427
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the 1960s, Christopher Isherwood gave an unprecedented series of lectures at California universities on the theme A Writer and His World During this time Isherwood, who would liberate the memoir and become the founding father of modern gay writing, spoke openly for the first time about his craft on writing for film, theater, and novels and on spirituality IsherwoodIn the 1960s, Christopher Isherwood gave an unprecedented series of lectures at California universities on the theme A Writer and His World During this time Isherwood, who would liberate the memoir and become the founding father of modern gay writing, spoke openly for the first time about his craft on writing for film, theater, and novels and on spirituality Isherwood on Writing brings these public addresses together to reveal a distinctly and surprisingly American Isherwood Given at a critical time in Isherwood s career, these lectures mark the era when he turned from fiction to memoir In free flowing, wide ranging discussions, he reflects on such topics as why writers write, what makes a novel great, and what influenced his own work Isherwood talks about his working relationship with W H Auden his literary friendships with E M Forster, Virginia Woolf, Stephen Spender, Aldous Huxley, and Somerset Maugham and his work in the film industry in London and Hollywood He also explores uncharted territory in candid comments on his own work, something not contained in his diaries Isherwood on Writing uncovers an important and often misunderstood time in Isherwood s life in America The lectures present, in James J Berg s words, an example of a man, comfortable in his own sexuality and self, trying to talk about himself and his own life in a society that is not yet ready to hear the whole story A major figure in twentieth century fiction and the gay rights movement, Christopher Isherwood 1904 1986 is the author of many books, including A Single Man and Down There on a Visit, available from Minnesota James J Berg is dean of liberal arts and sciences at Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota He is editor, with Chris Freeman, of The Isherwood Century Essays on the Life and Work of Christopher Isherwood winner of the Lambda Award and Conversations with Christopher Isherwood Claude Summers is professor emeritus of English at the University of Michigan, Dearborn and author of many works, including Gay Fictions Wilde to Stonewall.

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    About "Christopher Isherwood James J. Berg Claude J. Summers Claude Summers"

      • Christopher Isherwood James J. Berg Claude J. Summers Claude Summers

        Christopher Isherwood was a novelist, playwright, screen writer, autobiographer, and diarist He was also homosexual and made this a theme of some of his writing He was born near Manchester in the north of England in 1904, became a U.S citizen in 1946, and died at home in Santa Monica, California in January 1986.Isherwood was the grandson and heir of a country squire, and his boyhood was privileged With a school friend, Wystan Auden, he wrote three plays The Dog Beneath the Skin 1932 , The Ascent of F6 1936 , and On the Frontier 1938 Isherwood tells the story in his first autobiography, Lions and Shadows.In 1925, Isherwood was asked to leave Cambridge University after writing joke answers on his second year exams He briefly attended medical school, and progressed with his first two novels, All the Conspirators 1928 and The Memorial 1932 In 1930, he moved to Berlin where he taught English, dabbled in communism, and enthusiastically explored his homosexuality His experiences there, provided the material for Mr Norris Changes Trains 1935 and Goodbye to Berlin 1938 , still his most famous book.In Berlin in 1932, he also began an important relationship with a young German, Heinz Neddermeyer, with whom he fled the Nazis in 1933 Neddermeyer was refused entry to England on his second visit in 1934, and the pair moved restlessly about Europe until they were finally separated when Neddermeyer was arrested by the Gestapo in May 1937.In 1938, Isherwood sailed with Auden to China to write Journey to a War 1939 , about the Sino Japanese conflict They returned to England and Isherwood went on to Hollywood to look for movie writing work He also became a disciple of the Ramakrishna monk, Swami Prabhavananda, head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California He decided not to take monastic vows, but he remained a Hindu for the rest of his life, serving, praying, and lecturing in the temple every week and writing a biography, Ramakrishna and His Disciples 1965.In 1945, Isherwood published Prater Violet, fictionalizing his first movie writing job in London in 1933 1934 In Hollywood, he spent the start of the 1950s fighting his way free of a destructive five year affair with an attractive and undisciplined American photographer, William Caskey Caskey took the photographs for Isherwood s travel book about South America, The Condor and The Cows 1947 Isherwood s sixth novel, The World in the Evening 1954 , written mostly during this period, was less successful than earlier ones.In 1953, he fell in love with Don Bachardy, an eighteen year old college student born and raised in Los Angeles They were to remain together until Isherwood s death In 1961, Isherwood and completed the final revisions to his new novel Down There on a Visit 1962 Their relationship nearly ended in 1963, and Isherwood moved out of their Santa Monica house This dark period underpins Isherwood s masterpiece A Single Man 1964.Isherwood wrote another novel, A Meeting by the River 1967 , about two brothers, but he gave up writing fiction and turned entirely to autobiography In Kathleen and Frank 1971 , he drew on the letters and diaries of his parents In Christopher and His Kind 1976 , he returned to the 1930s to tell, as a publicly avowed homosexual, the real story of his life in Berlin and his wanderings with Heinz Neddermeyer The book made him a hero of gay liberation and a national celebrity all over again but now in his true, political and personal identity His last book, My Guru and His Disciple 1980 , records with similar honesty his conversion to Hinduism and his devotion to Swami Prabhavanandaherwoodfoundation bi


    916 Comments

    1. The best part of this book is the wonderful introduction of Isherwood as a thinker, not as a writer. The insight into his creative process, the way he moved through the world, how he formed the relationships that influenced his texts's less about the art of writing in and of itself, and more about the art of living in order to write. If you are not familiar with Isherwood, it's an excellent way to get to know him as a writer.


    2. Excellent presentation of Isherwood's lectures. It was a real treat seeing what he had to say about the larger mechanics of writing, as well as the discrete elements of his particular works. Now, I want to go back and reread all his books! If you liked this, make sure to follow me on for more reviews!


    3. A most excellent series of lectures on writing. Especially good is the discussion of the first-person narrator, which is tricky, to say the least. Also: the difference between theater and film. If you like this, you should let yourself be led to E.M. Forster's "Aspects of the Novel," Isherwood's mentor's thoughts.


    4. Good lectures in parts. The second half of the book is pretty boring. His thoughts on Hinduism are quite apt. However unsatisfactory overall.


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