the isherwood files

all things related to christopher isherwood

What did all this prove? That he had gained enormously in self-confidence. That sex, as sex, was becoming more natural to him––in the sense that swimming is natural when you know how to swim and the situation demands it. This he owed to Bubi.

He asked himself: Do I now want to go to bed with more women and girls? Of course not, as long as I can have boys. Why do I prefer boys? Because of their shape and their voices and their smell and the way they move. And boys can be romantic. I can put them into my myth and fall in love with them. Girls can be absolutely beautiful but never romantic. In fact, their utter lack of romance is what I find most likable about them. They’re so sensible.

Christopher and His Kind, by Christopher Isherwood (via yolodashes)

In the early stages of our friendship, I was drawn to him by the adventurousness of his life. His renunciation of England, his poverty, his friendship, his independence, his work, all struck me as heroic. During months in the winter of 1930, when I went back to England, I corresponded with him in the spirit of writing letters to a Polar explorer.

—Stephen Spender describing Christopher Isherwood in his memoir “World within World”  (as quoted in Isherwood’s own memoir Christopher and His Kind)

(Source: yolodashes)

Couldn’t you get yourself excited by the shape of girls, too––if you worked hard at it? Perhaps. And couldn’t you invent another myth––to put girls into? Why the hell should I? Well, it would be a lot more convenient for you, if you did. Then you wouldn’t have all these problems. Society would accept you, you wouldn’t be out of step with nearly everybody else.

It was at this point in his self-examination that Christopher would become suddenly, blindly furious. Damn Nearly Everybody. Girls are what the state and the church and the law and the press and the medical profession endorse, and command me to desire. My mother endorses them, too. She is silently brutishly willing me to get married and breed grandchildren for her. Her will is the will of Nearly Everybody, and in their will is my death. My will is to live according to my nature, and to find a place where I can be what I am … But I’ll admit this––even if my nature were like theirs, I should still have to fight them, in one way or another. If boys didn’t exist, I should have to invent them.

Christopher and His Kind, by Christopher Isherwood (via yolodashes)

But now isn’t simply now. Now is also a cold reminder; one whole day later than yesterday, one year later than last year. Every now is labelled with its date, rendering all past nows obsolete, until - later or sooner - perhaps - no, not perhaps - quite certainly: It will come.

A Single Man - Christopher Isherwood (via falltothepage)

The living room is dark and low-ceilinged, with bookshelves all along the wall opposite the windows. These books have not made George nobler or better or more truly wise. It is just that he likes listening to their voices, the one or the other, according to his mood. He misuses them quite ruthlessly - despite the respectful way he has to talk about them in public - to put him to sleep, to take his mind off the hands of the clock, to relax the nagging of his pyloric spasm, to gossip him our of hia melancholy, to trigger the conditioned reflexes of his colon.

A Single Man - Christopher Isherwood (via falltothepage)

George feels a kind of patriotism for the freeways. He is proud that they are so fast, that people get lost on them and even sometimes panic and have to bolt for safety down the nearest cutoff. George loves the freeways because he can still cope with them; because the fact that he can cope proves his claim to be a functioning member of society. He can still get by.

A Single Man - Christopher Isherwood (via falltothepage)

Christopher Isherwood and the movies.

Adaptations and screenplays

My Guru And His Disciple

Christopher Isherwood and Swami Prabhavananda

(Left to right) Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood, Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley and Linus Pauling, Los Angeles 1960

(Left to right) Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood, Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley and Linus Pauling, Los Angeles 1960