It is what it is: 300 pages of good gossipy reading, about one of the most famous literary couples of the last 35 years. A brilliant playwright of theIt is what it is: 300 pages of good gossipy reading, about one of the most famous literary couples of the last 35 years. A brilliant playwright of the "kitchen sink school", Pinter acheived the remarkable feat of being mentioned in a great Stephen Sondheim song shortly after he turned 40. ("The Ladies Who Lunch", from "Company.") He went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. Fraser - born in 1932 - is a popular and admired historian and biographer, often writing about powerful women and Queens who lose their heads (she is probably best known for her biographies of Mary Queen of Scots and Marie Antoinette.)
This is the story of a romance and a long relationship that began in scandal: Lady Antonia and Pinter met at a London dinner party in January 1975, at a time when they were both married with children. But "the heart has its reasons which reason cannot know," and in spite of their families and social expectations of the time, they determined to break the bonds of family and societal expectations to create a new lasting marriage of minds.
I got the feeling that these diary entries were jotted down in spare moments, not much reflected upon. She had a busy life - with six maturing children, a demanding husband, loving and active yet elderly parents - and a writing career of her own in which she was nearly always working on a lengthy manuscript. As a result, her diary is not particularly "literary" in itself, nor does Lady Antonia come across as particularly deep or reflective. The real interest lies in what the Pinters were doing at any given time, and who they were meeting.
Beware: Lady Antonia is not adverse to name-dropping! But it's true that both she and her husband were both members of what in Britain is known as "the chattering classes," - and they both had links to theatre and film as well. So its not really surprising that they were always meeting Philip Roth for lunch, Salman Rushdie was popping over for a spot of tea, Vaclav Havel was calling for advice from Prague, they were going to cast parties with John Gielgud and discussing film projects with Jeremy Irons, and Cherie Blair wanted to interview them for a BBC documentary....more
Beautifully written memoir of a Gaelic poet's upbringing - in the 1960s - in a remote and traditional village in the northwest corner of Ireland (CounBeautifully written memoir of a Gaelic poet's upbringing - in the 1960s - in a remote and traditional village in the northwest corner of Ireland (County Donegal). O'Searcaigh writes about the gradual awakening of his poetic voice, and also his tentative explorations of homosexuality, first in rural Ireland and later in the metropole of London. ...more
Maybe it's just me, but there's something almost quaint about writing a _philosophical_ defense of hoI liked it!
But I guess I didn't "really like it"!
Maybe it's just me, but there's something almost quaint about writing a _philosophical_ defense of homosexuality in 2013. On the one hand, Ellen has been winning this battle on the tube for more than 15 years now. On the other hand, the fact is that the _philosophical_ arguments aren't holding up very well these days, and haven't been for quite some time. There's not a lot of "heavy lifting" here.
This isn't an academic work of ethics. There are plenty of pop culture and contemporary references (Lady Gaga, Rick Santorum), as well some revealing autobiographical reflections. Corvino comes across as a very nice guy, a philosopher you would want to have dinner or a beer with. And kudos to him for getting this book published by the Oxford University Press. It's telling, though, that he covers all of his major points in a small format book of just 150 pages - in spite of the 3000+ year heritage of homophobia in Western culture....more