Christopher and his kind book
Christopher and His Kind | Christopher Isherwood | MacmillanRevisionism is the fashionable word for it, but the impulse to revise the definitive version of an epoch or an episode is as old as history. New evidence fuels new interpretations; perhaps even more important, changes in the spirit of the age and in the nature of the life we live have their effect upon our view of the past. Auden, Stephen Spender, C. In , George Orwell was merely restating the accepted version of how it was when he summarized the con. By Christopher Isherwood.
Christopher and His Kind
What most impressed the first readers of this memoir, however, was the candor with which he describes his life in gay Berlin of the s and his struggles to save his companion, a German man named Heinz, from the Nazis. An engrossing and dramatic story and a fascinating glimpse into a little-known world, Christopher and His Kind remains one of Isherwood's greatest achievements. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
Christopher and His Kind is an intriguing slice of autobiography. It covers ten years in the writer's life-from , when Isherwood left England to spend a week in Berlin and decided to stay there indefinitely, to the beginning of , when he arrived in New York to start a life in the States. The book revealingly contrasts fact with fiction-the real people Isherwood met in Germany with the portraits of them in his two Berlin novels, who then appeared again, fictionalized to an even greater degree, in I Am a Camera and Cabaret. But one does not need to be familiar with his body of work to appreciate the powerful and compelling story he tells here. Isherwood left Berlin in , after Hitler came to power. The characters in the book include W.
Philip Hensher. But in this case there is no doubt: this is a book which simply must be read, a triumph which produces from years of dense research a marvellous, immense narrative. Isherwood is not always admirable, not always intelligent, but his story is the story of the 20th century, and his life, in this supremely expert pair of hands, has a thunderous power. The great thing about homosexuality is that it gets you out of the house. Without that, Christopher Bradshaw-Isherwood might have remained a low-achieving rentier, presiding over the sort of estate which the 20th century generally did for. With it, his life followed quite a different course. The defining moment of that life, I think, was his meeting with W.
In November , Christopher Isherwood - determined to become a 'permanent foreigner' - packed a rucksack and two suitcases and left England on a one-way ticket for Berlin. With incredible candour and wit, Isherwood recalls the decadence of Berlin's night scene and his route to sexual liberation. As the Nazis rise to power, Isherwood describes his dramatic struggle to save his partner Heinz from persecution.
Isherwood decided late in his life that he had a moral obligation to renounce the self-censorship that marked his early novels, specifically the excision of any hint of his homosexuality. Accordingly, in Christopher and His Kind he recounts his experiences as a young gay man enticed by the liberated atmosphere of Weimar Berlin into a quest for sexual and intellectual emancipation, and argues that his homosexuality, far from a marginal private shame to be suppressed, was a central element in his human and creative development, an identity he cherished and shared with many others "my tribe", "my kind" , with whom he felt a special kinship. This remarkably candid autobiography was, in Isherwood's view, the way to discharge the obligation he felt due to "his kind", and thus make his own contribution to the cause of gay liberation. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Christopher and His Kind edition cover. Christopher Isherwood.