Look Back on Burton

On the other side of the Atlantic, my side that is, “biography” is the current subject of one of those arcane literary debates that weave their way through the weekend feature pages of the posher newspapers and journals, then fade away unnoticed when all interested parties have had their say.

The Pearl Fisher

I don’t mind being wild and free If Ingmar Bergman fancies me. Ingmar Bergman is a rare breed indeed: a director who has had a popular song written about him. He has also written an extraordinary, turbulent autobiography, The Magic Lantern. It received a rather sniffy dismissal when …

Golden Boy

“Aesthetic, tall, appealing. I was riveted, because you didn’t see people like that in Birmingham.” That figure was Kenneth Tynan, the speaker one of his many generously minded female admirers. Birmingham, England’s second city, no less, center of the hardware trade, is generally acknowledged to be its most ugly, unappealing, …