Sunday, November 18, 2007

Quoting The Times

Married six times (it never fails to amaze me how many women are happy to shack up with women-hating men) to the ‘low, sloppy beasts’ – his description of the gender to Orson Welles – he stabbed the second, Adeles Morales, at a party, nearly fatally. ‘A little bit of rape is good for a man’s soul,’ he announced in a 1972 speech to the University of California. Like many significant male creative figures of the past century – Picasso, D H Lawrence, Jean-Luc Godard, Eugene O’Neill, Kingsley Amis, John Osborne, etc, etc – his work, and his life, were fuelled by an anger towards (and its usual corollary, fascinated mythologizing of) women. For Mailer, as for a lot of these men, authenticity was about masculinity – to be an artist meant to be a rebel, to be difficult and raging and driven, and that energy, although often directed at class, or convention, or artistic orthodoxy, always, via an association of marriage and monogamy and imprisonment, ended up also directed at women.

David Baddiel in The Times, Nov 17, 2007, in an article on Norman Mailer.

[Noel Coward] lived in an age when fame fell like a warm cloak on to the shoulders of those who had dazzled theatre audiences, or readers of fiction, or cinemagoers, or art lovers. It was a time before celebrity had become a commodity that you settle for when you don’t have enough talent for success.

Joe Joseph in The Times, Nov 17, 2007, in a review of Coward’s Letters.

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