October 23, 1994 |
What is posterity? Nothing but "an unending jostle of vanities, appetites and fears," concludes Ian Hamilton at the end of a book that is quite surprisingly entertaining and suggestive. One might not suppose that a work subtitled "Literary Estates and the Rise of Biography" would give one cause to laugh aloud, but it does. Hamilton is a British poet, an editor and himself the biographer of Robert Lowell and, notoriously, of J. D. Salinger (well, he tried).
April 1, 1990 |
Ian Hamilton, author of the definitive biography of Robert Lowell, is having fun this time out. Obviously no book that is only 330 pages long, and covers the history of motion pictures from 1915 to 1951, can hope to do justice to its subject. "Writers in Hollywood" must be seen as a sort of primer on the subject. If you want to learn something about the writer in the silent era, Hamilton's got a chapter or two for you.
August 5, 1988 |
When he was 17, a provincial, intensely literary young man discovered a blue hardback in a secondhand bookstore in a northern English town. The book was "The Catcher in the Rye." That novel, published in 1951, was by the hitherto barely known American writer, J. D. Salinger. By the time the young Englishman, Ian Hamilton, discovered it, the book had already achieved critical acclaim and become a best-seller. But unknown to Hamilton, it was becoming clear that the book was more than that.
January 29, 2010 |
"Don't ever tell anybody anything," J.D. Salinger wrote in the closing lines of "The Catcher in the Rye. " "If you do, you start missing everybody. " For more than two decades now, I've thought about that ending as a piece of code. Not that Salinger, who died Wednesday at age 91 in Cornish, N.H., was an oracle, despite what his most dedicated followers -- those who hung around his driveway, hoping for a glimpse of the reclusive author, or parsed his sentences on a million websites -- might believe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2006 |
Ian Hamilton Finlay, 80, one of Scotland's best-known artists whose work included sculpture, poetry and philosophy, died Monday at a nursing home in Scotland after a long illness, said Victoria Miro, a spokeswoman for his gallery in London. The artist's relationship with nature lay at the heart of his work, and his most famous is "Little Sparta," the garden of his farmhouse at Stonypath in Dunsyre, southwest of Edinburgh. Born in 1925 in Nassau, Bahamas, Finlay moved to Edinburgh in 1950.
August 20, 1989 |
This biography became something of a cause celebre in 1986, when Salinger emerged from two decades of seclusion and attempted to block its publication. After a series law suits, Hamilton rewrote the text, shifting the focus to his labors as the biographer of an unwilling subject. The result is an arch solipsism that attempts to cash in on the continuing popularity of "The Catcher in the Rye."