Christopher Isherwood (Christopher and His Kind, 1972)
A painful truth and one devoid of any double entendre or high handed subjectivity, Isherwood in his penultimate autobiography touches on his failings as a writer, referring to himself with stark sincerity (in the third person), a shift in perspective allowed the closeted gay writer and intellectual an opportunity to scream his agonies upon a world that [in his opinion] he neither helped nor did enough to understand.
One of the most influential trans-continental writers and a progenitor of the ‘Queer Literature’ movement, Isherwood left behind a cornicopia of great literature including ‘A Single Man’ (adapted into a 2009 film directed by Tom Ford), Goodbye to Berlin, The World in the Evening etc…
Isherwood has come to be one of my favourite writers, a man so repulsed by modern concepts of nationalism, militarism, discrimination and rampant greed that he managed to both satirize and spit upon them (one and the same wouldn’t you agree). Beneath a veneer of early year homoerotic decadence, and late life political defiance however lay a man all too aware of humanity’s failings: that we as a species are an ugly gluttinous lot, gorging ourselves on the misery of others, resolving only to change where convenient or free of resistance.
With all my aching heart I do love you Chris, because even as the best you believed you should go on….