The aphorisms collected in this book, first published in 1953, were composed by Patanjali, a great Indian sage, over 1,500 years ago, and here translated into clear English prose. The accompanying commentary interprets the sayings for the modern world, and in doing so gives a full picture of what yoga is, what its aims are, and how it can be practised.
My Guru and His Disciple is a sweetly modest and honest portrait of Isherwood's spiritual instructor, Swami Prabhavananda, the Hindu priest who guided Isherwood for some thirty years. It is also a book about the often amusing and sometimes painful counterpoint between worldliness and holiness in Isherwood's own life. Sexual sprees, all-night drinking bouts, a fast car ride with Greta Garbo, scriptwriting conferences at M-G-M, intellectual sparring sessions with Berthold Brecht alternated with nights of fasting at the Vedanta Center, a six-month period of celibacy and sobriety, and the pious drudgery of translating (in collaboration with the Swami) the Bhagavad-Gita. Seldom has a single man been owed with such strong drives toward both sensuality and spirituality, abandon and discipline; out of the passionate dialectic between these drives, My Guru and His Disciple has been written.
This volume contains Auden and Christopher Isherwood's dramatic extravaganzas The Dog Beneath the Skin, the Ascent of F 6, and On the Frontier. It also includes the two versions of Paid on Both Sides--which are so different as to constitute two works--and Auden's satiric revue The Dance of Death. Two plays appear in print for the first time, Auden and Isherwood's The Enemies of a Bishop and Auden's The Chase. Also included are Auden's prose and verse written for doucmentary films, a cabaret sketch, and an unpublished radio script. Many of the texts include poems by the young Auden that have never been published before. The extensive historical and textual notes trace the complex history of the production and revision of these plays, including full texts and rewritten scenes.During the years when these works were created, Auden moved from a "poetry of isolation" to more expansive and public writing. After he left Oxford at age twenty-one, during the summer of 1928, he wrote the tragicomic charade Paid on Both Sides. During the next ten years, until he left England for America, he created the increasingly ambitious works for stage, film, and broadcast that appear in this volume. The most important of these plays were written in collaboration with Isherwood. As the world political situation worsened, Isherwood and Auden's style combined the energy of popular entertainment with the urgency of sacramental ritual.Edard Mendelson is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and the author of Early Auden (Viking). He is the editor of two volumes of Aduen's poetry, Collected Poems (Random House) and The English Auden (Random House).
Originally published in 1988.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Kathleen and Frank is a love story set in the glory days of the British Empire, the last decades before World War I
It is the story of Christopher Isherwood’s parents, the winsome and lively daughter of a successful wine merchant and the reticent, artistically gifted soldier-son of a country squire. They met in 1895 outside a music rehearsal in an army camp and married in 1903 after Christopher’s father returned from the Boer War. Frank was killed in an assault near Ypres in 1915; Kathleen remained a widow for the rest of her life.
Their story is told through letters and Kathleen’s diary, with connecting commentary by Isherwood. Kathleen and Frank is a family memoir, but it is also a richly detailed social history of a period of striking change— Queen Victoria’s funeral, Bl#65533;riot’s flight across the English Channel, Sarah Bernhardt’sHamlet, suffragettes, rising hemlines, the beginning of the Troubles in Ireland—the period that shaped Isherwood himself.
As a young man, Isherwood fled the tragedy that engulfed his parents’ lives and threatened his own; in Kathleen and Frank, he reweaves the tapestry of family and heritage and places himself in the pattern.
Lions and Shadows blends autobiography and fiction to describe the true education of a writer evolving from precocious schoolboy to dropoutatlarge in London’s bohemia of the 1920s. Forced to withdraw from Cambridge University, “Christopher Isherwood” works as a tutor to the privileged, serves as the secretary to a busy string quartet, ill-fatedly attends medical school. Licensed by names he invents, he works up extravagant portraits of his brilliant contemporaries W. H. Auden, Edward Upward, and Stephen Spender, whose intimate friendships and cult of rebellion changed the literary identity of England in the 1930s.
Although the story is Isherwood’s own life story, carrying him up to the age of twenty-five, he gives free rein to his remarkable powers of dramatization, improving on the facts here and there, to make a highly entertaining, sometimes hilarious book.
“Read it as a novel,” says Isherwood. There is no difficulty taking his advice. But his characters were real people, and whenLions and Shadows was first published, in 1938, it transformed their lives into legend.
""Prater Violet" is the most charming novel I have read in a long time." Diana Trilling Originally published in 1945, Christopher Isherwood's "Prater Violet" is a stingingly satirical novel about the film industry. It centers around the production of the vacuous fictional melodrama "Prater Violet," set in nineteenth-century Vienna, providing an ironic counterpoint to tragic events as Hitler annexes the real Vienna of the 1930s. The novel features vivid portraits of the imperious, passionate, and witty Austrian director Friedrich Bergmann and his disciple, a genial young screenwriter the fictionalized Christopher Isherwood."
In this final volume of Christopher Isherwood's diaries, the celebrated writer greets advancing age with poignant humor and an unquenchable appetite for the new. Isherwood deepens his study of Hinduism, writes his final books, and immerses himself in the vibrant creative scenes of the 1970s. With his long-term companion, Don Bachardy, Isherwood delves into the art worlds of Los Angeles, New York, and London, where he meets Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Warhol, and Hockney. Collaborating with Bachardy on scripts for Broadway and Hollywood, he encounters John Huston, Merchant and Ivory, John Travolta, David Bowie, Jon Voight, Armistead Maupin, Elton John, and Joan Didion. This volume is a densely populated human comedy, sketched with both ruthlessness and benevolence against the background of the Vietnam War, the energy crisis, and the Nixon, Carter, and Reagan White Houses. The final installment of Isherwood's masterwork reveals a man candidly fearful of his approaching death, and yet engaged in the vitality and energy of daily life.
Isherwood's final work of fiction—an epistolary novel that explores sexual identity and Eastern mysticism
After a long separation, two English brothers meet in India. Oliver, the idealistic younger brother, prepares to take his final vows as a Hindu monk. Patrick, a successful publisher with a wife and children in London and a male lover in California, has publicly admired his brother's convictions while privately criticizing his choices. First published in 1967,A Meeting by the River delicately depicts the complexity of sibling relationships—the resentment and competitiveness as well as the love and respect. Ultimately, the brothers' exposure to each other's differences deepens their awareness of themselves. InA Meeting by the River, Christopher Isherwood dramatizes the conflict between sexuality and spirituality that inspired his late writings.
A deeply introspective book about war, religion, and sexuality
Against the backdrop of World War II, "The World in the Evening" charts the emotional development of Stephen Monk, an aimless Englishman living in California. After his second marriage suddenly ends, Stephen finds himself living with a relative in a small Pennsylvania Quaker town, haunted by memories of his prewar affair with a younger man during a visit to the Canary Islands. The world traveler comes to a gradual understanding of himself and of his newly adopted homeland. When first published in 1953, "The World in the Evening" was notable for its clear-eyed depiction of European and American mores, sexuality, and religion. Today, readers herald Christopher Isherwood's frank portrayal of bisexuality and his early appreciation of low and high camp.
Welcome to sunny suburban 1960s Southern California. George is a gay middle-aged English professor, adjusting to solitude after the tragic death of his young partner. He is determined to persist in the routines of his former life.A Single Manfollows him over the course of an ordinary twenty-four hours. Behind his British reserve, tides of grief, rage, and loneliness surge—but what is revealed is a man who loves being alive despite all the everyday injustices.
When Christopher Isherwood'sA Single Manfirst appeared, it shocked many with its frank, sympathetic, and moving portrayal of a gay man in maturity. Isherwood's favorite of his own novels, it now stands as a classic lyric meditation on life as an outsider.
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