Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Christopher Isherwood - Aug. 26, 1904 to Jan. 4, 1986

Christopher Isherwood had an amazing ability to live a chunk of life and then, working up the best characters and situations he'd experienced, write a novel about that particular chunk.  Everything seems authentic -- presumably because it was.  It seems like it would be easy to write like Christopher Isherwood, but it's not.  I guess you have to be a Christopher Isherwood to write like Christopher Isherwood.

Not long ago I came across some serious praise someone had written about one of Isherwood's novels.  I thought it was the most beautiful thing ever said about any novel, and, thinking I would use it on a blogpost about Isherwood when his birthday rolled around, I copied it down.  But I can't find it.  I've looked everywhere I know to look.  I'm bummed.

His most famous character is Sally Bowles, from The Berlin Stories.  She's based on someone he hung out with when he lived in Berlin from early 1929 until early 1933.  Her story was adapted for the stage; the title was changed to I Am A Camera and Julie Harris played Sally Bowles; this stage play was later worked up into a musical and the name was changed to Cabaret.  Liza with a Z Minelli got to play Sally.

Isherwood's body was donated to science.  What became of his remains I don't know.  In lieu of a picture of a tombstone, here's a plaque that was place on the Berlin house he lived in:

1 comment:

  1. Ed Harris would portray him in a film...golly gosh the likeness...this from Orange...alongside an olive tree....