the isherwood files

all things related to christopher isherwood

the imperial hotel, pt 2

the imperial hotel

"Stephen [Spender] was writing too, though he spent much of his time out of doors, keeping Christopher and Otto company. He was recording their holiday with his camera. This had an automatic shutter release, so Stephen himself wasn’t necessarily excluded from the record. In a recent letter to me, he recalls that:

«with a masturbatory camera designed for narcissists I took - or it took - the most famous photograph in the history of the world, of US THREE.»

Stephen, in the middle, has his arms around Wystan and Christopher and an expression on his face which suggests an off-duty Jesus relaxing with “these little ones.” Christopher, compared with the others, is such a very little one that he looks as if he is standing in a hole.”

- Christopher Isherwood, CHRISTOPHER AND HIS KIND (University of Minnesotta Press)


David Hockney, Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, 1968

David Hockney, Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy (Lithograph), 1976

Chris O’Dell, Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy after the painting by David Hockney, 1976


Don Bachardy: Christopher Isherwood; Last Drawings

Don Bachardy, UNTITLED II, AUGUST 19 1985

Don Bachardy, UNTITLED III, OCTOBER 20 1985

Don Bachardy, UNTITLED II, OCTOBER 19 1985

Don Bachardy, UNTITLED IV, 17 NOVEMBER 1985

Don Bachardy, UNTITLED V, 29 DECEMBER 1985

Don Bachardy, UNTITLED III, 1 JANUARY 1986

Don Bachardy, UNTITLED I, 4 JANUARY 1986

I think that is Armistead Maupin with Chris and Don

I think that is Armistead Maupin with Chris and Don

cinnamonandpears asked: Do you have any recommendations for Mr. Isherwood's later works?

A Single Man, of course. And I loved A Meeting By The River.

How kind, how shy he is — searching painfully through the darkness of this world’s ignorance with his blind, mild, deep-sea eye. He has a pained, bewildered smile of despair at all human activity. “It’s inconceivable,” he repeatedly begins, “how anyone in their senses could possibly imagine —” But they do imagine — and Aldous is very, very sorry […]

He is still very much the prize-winning undergraduate, the nervous, fastidious, super-intellectual boy. Stupidity affects him like a nasty smell — and how eagerly he sucks at the dry teats of books! I see how utterly he must depend on Maria, how blessed must be the relaxation in her thin Belgian arms — and I like them both, much better than before. I think Aldous knows that I like him. This is our only bond. We talk such different languages. Every time I open my mouth he is obscurely pained and distressed. I am such a hopeless ignoramus, such a barbarian. “And yet,” I can imagine Aldous saying, “one supposes there is something….these young men who imagined they understood socialism, when, all the time, of course, one saw perfectly clearly —”

—Christopher Isherwood’s diary entry on Aldous Huxley, about six months after their first meeting. (via the-library-and-step-on-it)

Berlin Stories/Cabaret


Always read the book first: that is my general policy. However, I am actually glad that I saw the film Cabaret before tracing it back to its source. Cabaret is based on a musical based on a play (I am A Camera) based on a novella (Goodbye to Berlin). The author of the novel, Christopher…


Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey give iconic, Oscar winning performances in Bob Fosse’s brilliant CABARET (1972). The plot deals with a tragic affair between a would-be novelist and a cabaret chanteuse, set against the decadence of pre-Nazi Berlin in the early 1930’s. Based on the writings of Christopher Isherwood, shot on location in Berlin and adapted from the Tony winning Kander and Ebb musical, it also stars Michael York, Marissa Berenson and Helmut Griem. Filled with eye popping musical numbers, brilliant performances and Fosse’s subtle direction, CABARET is an unsurpassed musical achievement not to be missed!

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