Kenneth Steven Brecher has taken the title of his tantalizing memoirs from a post card sent by W. H. Auden in reply to a request from Robin Holloway asking the aging poet to consider writing the libretto for an opera based on Nathanael West's "Miss Lonelyhearts." Striking as the phrase is, it hardly does justice to the range of Brecher's experiences, recorded here in pictures and text. True, he reports a period when, after the deaths of the two most important women in his life, he found himself overcome by grief and without any sense of direction. Among other escapes, he haunted the cathedral at Chartres, gazing at the north rose window until it began to spin like a kaleidoscope for him.
But the greater part of this record is one of curiosity and personal response to travel and friends, all of which added to his collection of post cards. This had begun in his childhood in Chicago when his father was away from home and sent daily messages to his children. As Brecher reviewed them in later years, "they reminded me that I was the same person who had once taken Cecil Rhodes' money and gone off to Oxford; lived for two years with a tribe of Amazonian Indians . . . journeyed to Khartoum . . . climbed in the Himalayas of Ladekh, and mounted a camel expedition to the Sahara."