Like Paris within the '20s, Berlin within the early thirties was once probably the most interesting towns on the earth. because the Weimar Republic sputtered to an in depth and struggle loomed at the horizon, the town was once a magnet for gifted writers and artists. It was once during this now-vanished time and position that W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood lived, wrote and slept jointly. Norman web page tells the tale of ways those years formed those very important writers and, in doing so, illuminates a bygone period.
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Extra info for Auden and Isherwood The Berlin Years
In the tube I had an encounter with a whore. " She promptly came and stood beside me till I got out. " In the waiting room at the Zoo Station, where he had arranged to meet Gerhart, Auden thought briefly of Layard, by now in a Berlin hospital, and told himself that he could feel for his friend's misery even in the middle of his own happiness. The journal, however, has no truck with such insincerities and insists that the knowledge of Layard's plight was no more than a sauce to his own pleasure.
I have often thought I would go brothel-crawling but I can't do it. I become attached to someone, and enter on a relationship at once. Which means of course that I dont want to be free. ' Evidently he and Isherwood had discussed the theory and practice of the subject during the latter's March visit. What Auden refers to as his 'feebleness' is dearly a temperamental inability, despite occasional forays, to espouse the kind of large-scale promiscuity represented in his experience by, among others, Francis Turville-Petre.
He spoke of Germany as the country where all the obstructions and complexities of this life were cut through. (World within World, pp. 102, 104) However, a much more recent declaration by Spender that what 'really' drew him to Berlin was 'the hypnotic fascination of Christopher Isherwood's life' there (Observer, 28 November 1993) suggests that it may have been his friend's lifestyle as much as his personality or his convictions that exerted such a powerful magnetic force. As often, different stages of life and different confessional climates seem to have elicited different myths or versions of the truth from the same source.
Auden and Isherwood The Berlin Years by Norman