November 12, 2000 |
"In literature," Henry James wrote, "we move through a blest world in which we know nothing except by style, but in which also everything is saved by it . . . ." The observation, as is usual with the Master's obiter dicta, is touched with the wand of ambiguity. How is that world we enter via literature "blest"? What is it to be "saved"--and should we take the term to mean "preserved" or "redeemed' or both? Despite these opacities, however, the sentiment is clear.
May 31, 1998 |
In 1987, Richard Ellmann's biography of Oscar Wilde marked a turn in that "tide in the affairs of men" which these subsequent books, among so many other studies, anthologies, entertainments and exorcisms, variously swell--nor does such a tide give any indication of being stemmed, though frequently redirected.
April 23, 1998 |
Calendar Weekend asked several Festival of Books authors: "What author would you like to meet at the festival?" Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey ("A Woman of Independent Means"): "Isabel Allende. I'm teaching a course at Hollins College [in Virginia] called Autobiographical Sources of Fiction. We began reading her extraordinary book about her daughter, which tells the story really of how she came to write 'The House of the Spirits.'
April 15, 1998
I was astounded to see your article on Oscar Wilde, in which Merlin Holland [Wilde's grandson] says several completely untrue things about our new film, "Wilde" ("On the Wilde Side," March 22). It is absolutely untrue that the film leaves the viewer with any impression that Bosie [Lord Alfred Douglas] and Oscar ended up together. I quote verbatim the card at the end of the film: "Oscar and Bosie parted after three months. Imprisonment had ruined Oscar's health. He spent his last days in Paris, living in a cheap hotel.
April 23, 1998
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will offer such diverse attractions as Charlton Heston reading Hemingway and children's entertainers Kino and Lucy doing bits from their "Storytime" TV show, along with book signings and, perhaps the most anticipated part of the festival, about 70 author panels. The event will draw people from San Diego to Santa Barbara and from East L.A. to the Westside.
May 26, 2006 |
A small idea of what it means to be homosexual in Russia might be gleaned from the life and death of composer Peter Illich Tchaikovsky, who died in 1893 after contracting cholera from a glass of water. A large part of the population here doesn't buy the official cause of death. The story persists -- probably a myth, historians say, but who cares? -- that the gay genius was confronted by former classmates, who accused him of assaulting the honor of their school with his male dalliances.